Press Release

Letter from 64 Higher Education Advocacy Organizations Call on Congress to Pass the Dream Act

Publication date: Sep 6, 2017

The Honorable Mitch McConnell
Majority Leader
U.S. Senate
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Paul Ryan
Speaker
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Chuck Schumer
Minority Leader
U.S. Senate
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Minority Leader
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

Download the Letter

Dear Leader McConnell, Leader Schumer, Speaker Ryan and Leader Pelosi:

For the past five years, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program has provided Dreamers with the ability to go to school and work without fear of deportation. The President’s recent action to end DACA erases the path for these students to reach the American Dream. Congress can—and must—address the issue.

Nearly 800,000 individuals across America now have temporary protection from deportation because of DACA.1 Ninety-seven percent of them are either in school or employed. One-fifth are enrolled in institutions of higher education. Another third are in high school and considering their options for postsecondary education and training. And 5 percent of DACA students already have completed their bachelor’s degree, with many more on track to do so.2

These students are an integral part of our communities and our education system. They are just as deserving of opportunities to access higher education as all other students. It is immoral for us as a country to turn our back on these individuals, many of whom have never known any country but the United States.

Ending DACA also is unwise from an economic standpoint. DACA will increase the number of individuals with a postsecondary degree or credential, thus increasing the number of people who are prepared for the workforce and to contribute to our nation’s prosperity.

Congress is coequal to the Executive branch in our federal government. As Members, you can take moral leadership and provide DACA recipients with relief from fears of deportation. You can ensure that the doors leading to opportunity and the American Dream remain open for all people.
We call upon you, immediately, to take up and pass the Dream Act, a bipartisan, bicameral bill that would offer protection to these young people and allow them to take part in our economy and society. That is the only appropriate response to President Trump’s announcement.

Our higher education system is stronger because of DACA. Our economy will be stronger because of DACA. The future of our country will be stronger because of the action you take on DACA. We urge you to work swiftly to protect DACA recipients.

Sincerely,

10,000 Degrees Achieve Atlanta Active Advocacy Coalition
Advocates for Youth Alliance for Youth Action The American Association of State Colleges and Universities
American Association of University Women (AAUW) American Federation of Teachers AVID Center
Cal State Student Association The Campaign for College Opportunity Center for American Progress
Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) Chicago Urban League College Bound St. Louis
College Forward College Now Greater Cleveland College Possible
CollegeTracks Consumer Action Council for Opportunity in Education
Democrats for Education Reform Denver Scholarship Foundation Education Opens Doors
The Education Trust Excelencia in Education First Graduate
Generation Progress Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce HCM Strategists
Higher Ed, Not Debt Higher Learning Advocates iMentor
Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP) Jobs for the Future Kids in Common, a program of Planned Parenthood Mar Monte
Latino U College Access League of United Latin American Citizens Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce
Los Angeles Community College District Metropolitan State University Denver NAACP
National Association for College Admission Counseling National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators New America Education Policy Program
OneGoal One Wisconsin Now PHENOM (Public Higher Education Network of Massachusetts)
Roosevelt Network The Scholarship Foundation of St. Louis Silicon Valley Leadership Group
Southern California College Access Network St. Louis Graduates Student Debt Crisis
Students for Education Reform Teach For America Tennessee College Access and Success Network
The Institute for College Access & Success (TICAS) uAspire United States Student Association (USSA)
University of California Student Association Wyman Center Yes We Must Coalition
Young Invincibles

1) https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/immigration/news/2017/08/28/437956/daca-recipients-economic-educational-gains-continue-grow/
2) http://www.migrationpolicy.org/research/education-and-work-profiles-daca-population

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