1. Update
  2. Immigrants & Refugees

Dreamer Protection Before the End of the Year

By Hannah Graf Evans, December 1, 2017

Congress has yet to act to protect immigrants who grew up in the United States as children and have no existing opportunity to pursue legal status. Often referred to as Dreamers, we know them as are our friends, coworkers, classmates, and family who have worked tirelessly to be afforded a chance to fully thrive in our shared nation.

Months before the program officially ends, tens of thousands of DACA recipients have already begun to lose their work permits. Hundreds of thousands will follow after March 6 and be at renewed risk of deportation. It will take months to implement any legislative solution, so Congress must act as quickly as possible to protect Dreamers from deportation.

There is a huge opportunity to pass protections in the next few weeks. Congress has to figure out by December 8 how they will keep the government open and funded. It’s likely they will extend that deadline again until December 22. All Democrats and a few Republicans have expressed they want to pass a permanent solution for Dreamers before they leave for the holidays.

Spending negotiations are ongoing, and if Dreamers are going to be part of the equation we need to keep the pressure up. FCNL wants provisions from the Dream Act to be enacted into law (see our comparison chart below). It may not be called the Dream Act, but what matters is that the policy enacted offers a pathway to citizenship for as many Dreamers as possible, without including harmful policy for other immigrants or border communities.

Background Dreamer Protection Legislation Comparison 

A comparison of four different Dreamer protection bills – the BRIDGE Act, SUCCEED Act, RAC Act, and Dream Act. FCNL considers the provisions outlined in the Dream Act to be the best option available for Dreamers.

What can you do?

Next week is full of activities that will make sure that Dreamer protection is at the top of the agenda as Congress figures out next steps. FCNL is partnering with New American Economy for a nationwide effort to protect Dreamers before the end of the year. There are a few ways to participate:

1. Send a video to your member of Congress sharing why you want them to pass the Dream Act before the end of the year.

Your videos will go up on a map that includes information about immigrant populations in each district in the United States and be shared with members of Congress on the hill next week. Record and send your video today!

2. Drop off materials at your member of Congress’ local office.

Use this as an opportunity to ensure that members of Congress are hearing directly from constituents about the urgency to pass legislation into law by the end of the year. Print out and drop off this sheet at the office on or before December 6:

Legislative Ask Protect Dreamers Immediately 

Enact S.1615/H.R.3440

Congress must protect Dreamers by enacting the Dream Act of 2017 without exacerbating endless and cruel enforcement.

3. Attend an event near you on December 6.

Go to iMarch.us to see if there is an event happening in your area. New American Economy is monitoring all of the events and arranging for some to be livestreamed here on Capitol Hill on December 6. Email events@newamericaneconomy.org to RSVP or for more information.

4. Call your member of Congress today, and every day.

Ask your elected officials to pass legislation that offers a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, without harming other immigrants or border communities. Ask them to enact this legislation before the end of the year.

FCNL and Quakers across the country are calling on members of Congress to protect Dreamers as a matter of faith. We have confidence that our nation will be stronger when we give Dreamers an equitable chance to thrive, and we pray that our nation’s leaders will step up to this moral call.

Hannah Graf Evans

  • Former Legislative Representative, Immigration and Refugee Policy

Hannah Graf Evans led FCNL's lobbying for compassionate immigration and refugee policies, with a particular focus on detention practices, the rights of border communities, and protection of vulnerable communities. Hannah served as co-chair of the Interfaith Immigration Coalition steering committee for three years.