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Your Guide To Undocumented Students

The Twists and Turns of DREAMers

Timeline Of Undocumented Students



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The Acronyms...DACA stands for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, and the DREAM Act stands for Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act.

The Story… The word “DREAMer” is used to describe young undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as young children, who have lived in the states continuously since arriving, learned English, completed high school, and who in most cases identify as American. During their K-12 educational experience these young people are protected by the 1982 Plyler v. Doe Supreme Court decision.   The Court held that states cannot constitutionally deny students a free public education on based on their immigration status.  However, once a student graduates from high school or earns a GED they are no longer protected and their residency in the United States is in jeopardy.

Remind Me…
In 2012, President Barack Obama, concerned with the inability of Congress to pass the Dream Act, signed an Executive Order implementing DACA. He explained that in the absence of congressional action, the Department of Homeland Security would institute a temporary program to defer deportation for “eligible individuals who do not present a risk to national security or public safety.”  Obama called the plan “a temporary stopgap measure that lets us focus our resources wisely while giving a degree of relief and hope to talented, driven, patriotic young people.”

In the fall of 2017, Acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke announced that DACA would be phased out for current recipients and that no new requests for temporary protection from deportation under DACA would be granted.  Currently, there is a preliminary injunction on the cancellation of DACA requiring the Department of Homeland Security to maintain the DACA program on the same terms and conditions as were in effect before the rescission. 

DREAMers continue to be in limbo as policy-makers continue to search for a compromise.  Just last month an additional attempt to pass DREAMer legislation was introduced in Congress.

What Do I Need To Know?  

  1. Be certain to know and understand your institution and state policies regarding Dreamers.
  1. If you have an opinion on the future of the DACA program, contact your Congressional Delegation. Be certain someone at your institution continues to check the status of H.B. 6, The Dream and Promise Act
  1. The fate of the DACA program remains uncertain. Immigration Officials will continue to accept DACA applications from individuals who currently have or previously had DACA status. Eligible DACA recipients should be encouraged to consult with an attorney or a Board of Immigration Appeals–accredited representative and decide as soon as possible whether to submit renewal applications.

Interested in Learning More?

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 Join the Conversation…add a quote to the comments below

“ To be a dreamer student is to be human. To be a dreamer is to be American. To be a dreamer is to feel alive. But, most people don’t understand why because in today’s political narrative, it’s about ideology versus the truth. But, a dreamer is, at the end of the day, keeping the American Dream Alive. They are from every perspective good for our country.”

Dr. Mario Gozalez ~ Director, Latinx Retention and Engagement


So...what do you think? Share your thoughts. Share this blog to keep the conversation going!

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Author: Geri Anderson
April 24, 2019

Comments 2
  • Aaron W. Hughey
    Aaron W. Hughey

    I agree. It’s past time we passed the DREAM Act…

  • Marilyn Brooks
    Marilyn Brooks

    A child who is brought to this country as a 3-year old infant, and who is now an adult deserves to be considered for permanent status. This is the only country he/she has ever known and is, for all intent and purposes, an ‘American’. It is cruel to send this person to a country he/she has never known, and in many cases, to culture, he/she has never experienced. There are many such individuals who live in fear of deportation and action needs to be taken to have this issue addressed not treated as a political football by politicians.

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