AACTE Joins 32 Organizations in Supporting the Dream Act of 2017

    In a letter led by the American Council on Education, AACTE joined 32 organizations this month in supporting the Dream Act of 2017, a bipartisan bill introduced July 20 by Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC). The legislation would provide a path for young immigrants who entered the United States as children to attain lawful permanent residency status if they meet a series of requirements.

    The target population is immigrants who in essence know only the United States as their home. Individuals may be eligible if they meet the following criteria:

    • Are longtime residents who came to the United States as children
    • Graduate from high school or obtain a GED
    • Pursue higher education, work lawfully for at least 3 years, or serve in the military
    • Pass security and law enforcement background checks and pay a reasonable application fee
    • Demonstrate proficiency in the English language and a knowledge of U.S. history
    • Have not committed a felony or other serious crimes and do not pose a threat to our country

    In addition, the bill restores the ability of states to grant in-state tuition to undocumented students on the basis of residency – but states are not required to do this.

    The letter, sent to Senate leadership July 25, urged the passage of the Dream Act as soon as possible. Supporters say the legislation would move our country forward, returning the United States as a global leader in higher education attainment. Citing the estimated 65,000 Dream-eligible students who graduate from American high schools each year, the letter calls upon leaders in the Senate to pass the bill by the end of the year.

    View a video of the press conference on the bill’s reintroduction featuring Sen. Dick Durbin and Sen. Lindsey Graham here. For more information on the bill, please review the one-pager and section-by-section analysis.

    The full list of signatories on the letter includes—

    American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education
    American Association of Colleges of Nursing
    American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers
    American Association of Community Colleges
    American Association of State Colleges and Universities
    American Council on Education
    American Dental Education Association
    American Indian Higher Education Consortium
    Association of American Universities
    Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities
    Association of Community College Trustees
    Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges
    Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities
    Association of Public and Land-grant Universities
    Association of Research Libraries
    College and University Professional Association for Human Resources
    Council for Advancement and Support for Education
    Council for Christian Colleges and Universities
    Council for Opportunity in Education
    Council of Graduate Schools
    Council of Independent Colleges
    Education Testing Service
    Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities
    NAFSA: Association of International Educators
    NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education
    National Association for College Admission Counseling
    National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education
    National Association of College and University Business Officers
    National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities
    National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators
    National Collegiate Athletic Association
    National Council for Community and Education Partnerships

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    Zachary VanHouten

    Manager of Programs and Advocacy, AACTE

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