WASHINGTON, D.C. — Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) and Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced legislation that would provide millions of immigrants brought to the U.S. as children with permanent legal status, allowing them to continue living and working in the U.S. without fear of deportation.
The Dream Act of 2021 would provide recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and other Dreamers the opportunity to earn eventual citizenship. 2021 marks the 20th anniversary of the first introduction of the bill with bipartisan support, and the 4th time Sens. Durbin and Graham have co-sponsored legislation that includes protections for Dreamers.
Over the next 10 years, Dreamers who currently have DACA will contribute an estimated $433 billion to the GDP, $60 billion in fiscal impact, and $12.3 billion in taxes to Social Security and Medicare if they can continue to work legally in the U.S.
Additionally, DACA recipients and other Dreamers have been indispensable to the country’s pandemic response and recovery, with nearly half of all Dreamers — around 1 million — working in essential industries.
“A permanent solution for Dreamers is not an issue of politics — it’s an issue of values,” said Ali Noorani, President and CEO of the National Immigration Forum. “The majority of Americans understand that allowing people brought to the U.S. as children to continue contributing without fear of deportation will keep families together, strengthen our economy and bolster our communities as we recover and rebuild from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We applaud both Republicans and Democrats for their leadership on an issue that unites Americans, and for supporting bipartisan solutions that benefit both Dreamers and native-born Americans alike.”