Durbin and Graham Reintroduce Dream Act for DACA Recipients

As the fate of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) remains in limbo amidst continuing legal challenges, some lawmakers are continuing their quest for legislation that would give the so-called “Dreamers,” or young undocumented adults brought to the U.S. as children, a path to legal residency. Sen. Min. Whip Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) and Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) have reintroduced the Dream Act, a version of which Durbin has proposed for more than 20 years without success.

The Dream Act would allow DACA recipients, who entered the U.S. as children and have a high school education and college enrollment, employment, or military service, to earn legal U.S. residency and, eventually, citizenship. As courts continue to consider the legality of DACA, which is the only thing standing between these individuals and immediate deportation, the need for the Dream Act to succeed only becomes more urgent. A court challenge initiated in a Texas federal court could spell the end of DACA shortly and lead to the deportation of its beneficiaries if Congress fails to act.

However, any bipartisan legislation will likely face a steep uphill battle. Republicans continue to tie any relief for DACA recipients to tightening enforcement at the country’s southern border. In contrast, immigration advocates continue to call on Congress to enact comprehensive and meaningful immigration reform.

An American flag flies while viewed through barbed wire at the United States border with Mexico

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