‘Dreamers’ future is uncertain as the DREAM Act of 2021 is introduced



The House of Representatives are expected to move forward on the Dream Act of 2021 later this week. Immigration reform is currently at the top of the list of things Democrats want to accomplish.

Immigration reform has long been a controversial topic in the U.S., and President Joe Biden has made it a top priority.
A group of immigrants that has gained American support to obtain legal status are the young undocumented immigrants known in the U.S. as Dreamers. They were brought to this country as children by their parents, they have lived and gone to school here and many identify as American.
Throughout the years, legislation has been proposed to grant them protection from deportation. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) first introduced the DREAM Act in 2001 and since then at least 10 versions have been introduced.
In 2010 a revised version managed to pass in the House of Representatives but failed to pass in the Senate, however, the failed outcome did not discourage the Dreamers and two years later they had a small victory. In 2012 the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program established by President Barack Obama gave hope to thousands of eligible undocumented immigrants.
DACA protects Dreamers from deportation and grants them a two-year work permit to work legally. However, it is a temporary solution and is challengeable at any time.
During the Trump administration, DACA was under constant attack by former President Donald Trump. He made multiple attempts to end the Obama-era program and revoke the work permits of roughly 800,000 immigrants.
Congress has a chance to put a stop to the constant uncertainty that Dreamers face with the proposal of the DREAM Act of 2021. If it passes, it will change the lives of those who have been in limbo for too long.
Introduced by Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on Feb. 4, the DREAM ACT of 2021 would allow Dreamers to earn lawful permanent residence and eventually become American citizens.
These Dreamers have been part of the community, attended school in the U.S. and some served in the military.
“These young people, known as Dreamers, have lived in America since they were children, built their lives here, and are American in every way except for their immigration status,” Durbin said in a press release.
This bill would not only benefit the young undocumented immigrants, it would greatly benefit the country.
According to the Britannica ProCon.org, if the Dream Act passes, it would add $22.7 billion annually to the U.S. GDP and up to $400 billion over the next decade.
Many who oppose the DREAM Act argue that it is a form of amnesty and encourages more illegal immigration.
That is not the case. According to the National Immigration Law Center, The DREAM Act is not a giveaway to undocumented youth; it creates a process to legalize only those who grew up here and who earn status by staying in school and maintaining good moral character.
Congress is set to vote on the DREAM Act later this month and would be devastating to the young undocumented immigrants if it fails to pass, especially as they help battle the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the Washington Post, there are roughly 29,000 health care workers protected by DACA, among others in different fields.
Many are business owners, artists, educators and engineers. They are American in every way except on paper, without them this country will lose the immense amount of talent they bring and that strengthens our communities. It’s time Congress passes legislation that will allow them to reach their full potential as contributing members of society by passing the DREAM Act of 2021.