The DREAM Act in the 113th Congress
DEFERRED ACTION FOR CHILDHOOD ARRIVALS
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
- USCIS Resource Page: Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Process, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, August 3, 2012. This page includes an extensive Q&A with general information on deferred action for childhood arrivals, guidelines for requesting consideration for deferred action, information on the filing process, information on the type of evidence that USCIS will require, and other information.
- Application Forms: I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. This page contains links to downloadable forms to be used in the application process for deferred action (form I-821D, as well as I-821D instructions. It also contains links to related forms, including I-765, application for work authorization.
- Information Brochure: I Am a Young Person Who Arrived in the United States as a Child (Childhood Arrival): How Do I…Request Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals?, USCIS. A brochure providing some key information regarding deferred action for childhood arrivals.
- Infographic: Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, USCIS. This illustrates some of the eligibility criteria and application process.
- Memorandum on Exercising Prosecutorial Discretion for Childhood Arrivals: Exercising Prosecutorial Discretion with Respect to Individuals Who Came to the United States as Children, Janet Napolitano, Secretary, Department of Homeland Security, June 15, 2012.
- Transcript: Remarks by the President on Immigration, White House, June 15, 2012. Transcript of President Obama's remarks coinciding with the Administration's announcement of its intention to offer deferred action for childhood arrivals.
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: DREAMerJustice.org 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
- Fee Assistance: Pubic Interest Projects, a foundation, has lunched the Fund For DREAMers, a national fundraising effort to support young people who are applying for deferred action, for which $465 is being charged. In individuals are encouraged to donate. More information can be found here.
- Legal Background on Deferred Action: Executive Authority to Grant Administrative Relief for DREAM Act Beneficiaries, Hiroshi Motomura et. al., May 28, 2012. This letter signed by a group of law professors highlights three types of administrative relief the President has within his authority, which he could use to halt the deportation of DREAM Act-eligible young people.
- Demographic Information: Relief from Deportation: Demographic Profile of the DREAMers Potentially Eligible under the Deferred Action Policy, Migration Policy Institute, August 2012. This document contains estimates of the number of potential beneficiaries of deferred action for childhood arrivals, broken down by state. It also has estimates of the educational and labor force status of potential beneficiaries, as well as information on country of origin and other information.
- Demographic Information: Who and Where the DREAMers Are: A Demographic Profile of Immigrants Who Might Benefit from the Obama Administration’s Deferred Action Initiative, Immigration Policy Center and Rob Paral & Associates. This paper provides estimates, by broken down by state and country of origin, of the population that will potentially benefit from deferred action. An addendum breaks down the population estimates by Congressional District.
- Economic Argument for Deferred Action: Allowing Immigrant Youth to Stay and Work Makes Good Economic Sense for the U.S., National Immigration Forum. This brief paper explains how the Obama Administration’s decision to stop deporting certain young undocumented immigrants and allowing them to work will ultimately benefit the U.S.
- Fact Sheet on Deferred Action: Deferred Action, Maggio and Kattar. This page briefly explains what deferred action is and is not.
- Questions and Answers: 6 Things You Need to Know About Deferred Action and DREAM Act Students, Center for American Progress, June 5, 2012.
- Economic Arguments: Why Obama’s Decision To Stop Deporting DREAM-Eligible Youth Is Good For The Economy, Think Progress, June 15, 2012.
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
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.
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
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