Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM Act)
Each year approximately 50,000-65,000 undocumented students graduate from American high schools. Many of these students were brought to the United States when they were very young and grew up in American schools, learning American values and experiencing American culture.
Unfortunately the majority of these individuals are not able to access higher education due to the lack of in-state tuition for undocumented students and because of their inability to work legally to pay for school. The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act offers an opportunity for these students to apply for conditional legal status and eventual citizenship based on strong character, hard work and the pursuit of military service or higher education.
The DREAM Act would also overturn a federal law punishing states that choose to provide in-state tuition to undocumented students. Although in
2010 the DREAM Act fell short of breaking a filibuster in 2010 the IIC still led the DREAM Sabbath of 2011 to involve congregations in this student movement for immigrant justice.
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
The Interfaith Immigration Coalition along with so many service organizations and immigrants’ rights advocates, celebrates Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) announced June 15 by President Obama and Secretary Janet Napolitano. However, we know th
at this is an impermanent solution, and that we must continue to work towards passing the DREAM Act to fully embrace and welcome these talented young people into our communities.
DACA will provide work permits and relief from deportation for youth who meet the requirements. The Interfaith Immigration Coalition have been working on this for a long time, following the lead of DREAM Act youth organizing to make DACA happen. In our DREAM Sabbath of 2011 CWS member denominations held hundreds of educational forums on the DREAM Act in their local congregations, broadening the awareness and moving people to action and advocacy.
The need for legal services in applying to DACA is tremendous and exponential as more eligible youth come forward. Within the first month of the program, which began on August 15, 82,000 youth applied for DACA and that number will continue to grow. There are approximately 900,000 that can currently apply to the program, but as many as 1.76 million youth eventually will have the. CWS is providing immigration legal services to hundreds of eligible youth across the country, responding to the great need for more accredited legal counsel in this process. Read more at CWS Blog
United We Dream