The DREAM Act: Creating Opportunities for Immigrant Students and Supporting the U.S. Economy

July 13, 2010

Washington D.C. - Today, the Immigration Policy Center releases a Fact Check on the DREAM Act. Each year, approximately 65,000 undocumented students graduate from high school, many at the top of their classes, but cannot go to college, join the military, work, or otherwise pursue their dreams. They belong to the 1.5 generation - any (first generation) children brought to the United States at a young age by their parents who were largely raised in this country and therefore share much in common with American born-children. These students are culturally American, growing up here and often having little attachment to their country of birth. They tend to be bicultural and fluent in English. Many don't even know that they are undocumented immigrants until they apply for a driver's license or college, and then learn they lack Social Security numbers and other necessary legal documents.

The plight of the DREAM Act students encapsulates many facets of today's immigration crisis. Caught in a system where there is little, if any, means for legalizing their status, smart, hard-working kids face an uncertain future because of their inability to continue their education, work, or join the military. The loss of potential, productivity, and hope for these individuals is also a loss for this country. The United States is missing out on talented workers and entrepreneurs, and is losing vital tax revenues and other economic contributions. While fixing this particular problem will hardly resolve the need for comprehensive immigration reform, it will unlock the door to the American dream for thousands of young people each year.

To view the fact sheet it its entirety see:

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