In announcing the act, Durbin noted that it has been two decades since he first introduced the Dream Act. This particular legislation has been introduced in Congress’ previous two sessions.
“It is clear that only legislation passed by Congress can give Dreamers the chance they deserve to earn their way to American citizenship,” Durbin said. “In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 200,000 DACA recipients are ‘essential critical infrastructure workers.’ Among these essential workers are 41,700 DACA recipients in the healthcare industry. It would be an American tragedy to deport these brave and talented essential workers in the midst of this pandemic.”
Graham said he has “supported a solution for the Dream Act population who were brought to the United States by their parents as minors.”
“I believe it will be a starting point for us to find bipartisan breakthroughs providing relief to the Dreamers and also repairing a broken immigration system. I look forward to working with Senator Durbin and others to see if we can find a way forward,” Graham added.
‘Pillars of Our Nation’
The alliance, which is nonpartisan, provides a forum for more than 500 college and university leaders to engage on immigration-related issues and provides guidance on immigration policies and practices at the federal, state and campus level.
“Dreamers are pillars of our nation’s economy and communities – 93 percent of them are employed, they pay close to $10 billion in taxes, and they carry nearly $20 billion in spending power,” reads this week’s letter. “Dreamers are on the frontlines of the pandemic response. Almost 200,000 are essential workers – first responders, restaurant and grocery store workers, childcare providers and almost 30,000 healthcare workers, including doctors and nurses.”
The March letter adds, “These individuals – Americans in every sense but one – seek only what we want for all our children: the opportunity to pursue their studies, work in our communities, serve in the military and contribute to their families, states and nation.”
In addition to the Dream Act of 2021, the following immigration bills also have been recently reintroduced or introduced, respectively – the Dream and Promise Act (H.R. 6) and the U.S. Citizenship Act 2021 (H.R. 1177/S.348). The United States House of Representatives passed the Dream and Promise Act on March 18. The legislation awaits action by the Senate.