National Immigration Forum

Practical Solutions for Immigrants and America


The DREAM Act in the 113th Congress


The Administration is currently offering deferred action (a form of administrative relief from deportation) for certain young people who were brought to the U.S. as young children and meet certain criteria. Many of these young people would be covered by the DREAM Act. Forms and instructions are available on the USCIS Web site.

Persons will be eligible for deferred action if they can demonstrate that they:

  • came to the United States before the age of sixteen as of June 15, 2012;

  • were in the U.S. on June 15 and have continuously resided in the United States for at least five years;

  • are currently in school, graduated from high school, obtained a general education development certificate, or were honorably discharged from the Coast Guard or Armed Forces;

  • have not been convicted of certain crimes;

  • are not a threat to national security or public safety; and

  • were not above the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012.

More Information - Deferred Action Resources

Information from USCIS and the Administration

Questions and Answers and Legal Information

  • Questions and Answers: Frequently Asked Questions: Obama Administration's Relief Process for Eligible Undocumented Youth, United We Dream (Updated August 3, 2012). This Q&A describes what is known about the government's deferred action offer and gives advice on what potential beneficiaries should be doing while waiting for regulations governing the application process. United We Dream has also posted videos answering questions about deferred action, which you can access from their Web site here.

  • Practice Advisory: Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, American Immigration Council Legal Action Center, August 13, 2012. This advisory is for lawyers who may have clients who are potentially eligible for deferred action.

  • Self Assessment: We Own the Dream, a partnership of United We Dream and several national immigration law and policy organizations, offers a tool to help potential beneficiaries of deferred action assess whether they will be eligible. You can find that tool on their Web site here.

  • Self Assessment: from the National Immigrant Justice Center also has an on-line self-assessment tool, to allow individuals who think they may qualify for deferred action to assess their eligibility and identify possible complications.

  • Questions and Answers: Administrative Relief for Undocumented Youth: Frequently Asked Questions, Asian American Justice Center. This Q & A is also available in Chinese, Thai, Korean, Tagalog and Spanish.

  • Questions and Answers Frequently Asked Questions: Obama Administration's Relief Process for Eligible Undocumented Youth, the National Immigration Law Center’s frequently asked questions page for deferred action, has detailed information describing deferred action, the necessary requirements, and how to apply. (Updated August 7, 2012)

Background on Deferred Action, the Administration's Legal Authority, Potential Beneficiaries, and Potential Economic Impact of Deferred Action

Resources on Avoiding Fraud

  • Resources on Avoiding Fraud: The Wrong Help can Hurt: Beware of Immigration Scams, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service. This page contains links to resources to help individuals avoid immigration fraud, including a document describing common immigration scams and a chart listing state entities where scams can be reported.

  • Resources on Avoiding Fraud: Stop Notario Fraud, American Immigration Lawyers Association. This Web site has extensive information describing immigration fraud, where to get help, and where to find legitimate immigration legal services.

  • Flyer: Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals: Don’t Get Scammed!, American Immigration Lawyer's Association.

  • Resources on Avoiding Fraud: Fight Notario Fraud, American Bar Association. This Web site has pages dedicated to information for victims and resources for attorneys.

  • Resources on Avoiding Fraud: No sea víctima del fraude de inmigración, Executive Office for Immigration Review. Some dos and don'ts for avoiding immigration fraud (in Spanish).


  • Own the DREAM. Own the DREAM is a national campaign to help aspiring Americans brought to this country as children take advantage of the opportunity to apply for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and work permits.

  • United We Dream

The Issue

There are thousands of undocumented immigrant students, brought to this country as young children who have grown up in the U.S., excelled in school, and are American in every sense except for their papers. However, when it comes time to apply for college, many find the door to enrollment effectively shut because they lack legal immigration status. They are not eligible for the resident tuition rate at state-supported colleges and universities—even though they may have graduated from their state’s elementary and high schools.  In addition, undocumented students are not eligible for any type of federal financial aid.  Other young men and women who wish to join the uniformed military services are also shut out of enlisting.  Even if these students are able to make it through college, they graduate without the legal right to work in this country.  These children and young adults are the embodiment of individual merit and achievement. In recognition of this fact, legislation has been introduced in the past several Congresses to clear a path towards legal immigration status that would allow these students to pursue their education and put their college degrees to good use, or to contribute to this country through military service. The legislation is known as the DREAM Act.

The Legislation

In the 113th Congress, it is expected that the DREAM Act will be incorporated in the broader immigration reform bill.


For information on the status of the broader immigration reform bill, see our page on Comprehensive Immigration Reform in the 113th Congress

More Information

For more information on DREAM Act legislation in past Congresses, see our page on the DREAM Act in the 112th Congress.

Web Sites with Additional Resoruces

For additional resources, see The DREAM Act in the 112th Congress

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