American Dreamer

Filed under Immigration

“Why don’t immigrants just get in line?"

"Why don't immigrants just become U.S. citizens?”

For nearly 2 million young immigrants living in the United States today, there is no "line," and there is no pathway to citizenship. Dreamers are immigrants who were brought here as children and raised as Americans for years—embedded in American communities, attending American schools, paying American taxes, and contributing to society—but are not able to become U.S. citizens. No matter how hard they've worked in school, no matter how much they've paid in taxes, no matter how clean their records are, and no matter how deeply they want citizenship, there is no process, path, or legislation in the American immigration system that will allow Dreamers to become citizens.

Priscilla is just one of the 2 million, but her predicament is common. Now that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program has been rescinded, she's at risk of being taken from her siblings—U.S. citizens she raised by herself—and sent to Mexico, a country where she knows no one.

Congress has a solution on the table with the bipartisan Dream Act. If enacted, the critical legislation provides hardworking Dreamers like Priscilla with the chance to earn citizenship. If the bill fails to pass before the end of this year, this group is at risk of being arrested and deported. And the United States stands to lose the benefits of their immense economic and social contributions.


2016 and 2017 polling by Quinnipac, Pew Research, and Gallup all found that a majority of Americans support a path to citizenship or legalization for undocumented immigrants.