DREAM Act Offers Hope for Bipartisan Solutions Amid Ongoing Threats to Immigrants

July 21, 2017
Sophie Vodvarka
Communications Coordinator
(773) 294-4909

(Chicago, IL - July 20, 2017) The Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) is praising today’s reintroduction of the DREAM Act by Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Dick Durbin (D-IL).  The DREAM Act, which would finally allow many undocumented youths  a pathway toward American citizenship, is reintroduced amid renewed concerns regarding DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), a federal program that has provided many of these youths with protection against deportation and authorization to work.  President Trump had campaigned on a promise to undo executive actions like DACA, and on June 29, attorneys general from ten states publicly threatened to use the federal government if DACA is not repealed.

"We are proud that undocumented families and allies in Illinois have supported the rights of immigrants and fought for their full participation in society, winning key policy victories including DACA,” said Mony Ruiz-Velasco, executive director of the West Suburban Action Project (PASO) and ICIRR board president. “At a time when DACA is under threat and the immigrant community continues to face repeated attacks from the White House and Attorney General, we need legislative solutions, as long as those solutions do not cause harm to other members of the immigrant community. Re-introducing the DREAM Act is a step in the right direction. We expect our legislators to hold strong to ensure that their bill is not used as an avenue for anti-immigrant efforts."

The reintroduction of the DREAM Act comes as states across the US are seeking legislative solutions to protect immigrants. In Illinois, the Campaign for a Welcoming Illinois, which included ICIRR and many other community organizations, won General Assembly passage of the Illinois TRUST Act (SB31) with bipartisan support. The TRUST Act would draw a bright line between federal immigration enforcement and local police. Governor Rauner has until August 28 to sign or veto the bill. ICIRR and our allies in the Campaign will continue to urge Governor Rauner to sign the TRUST Act.