1 | POPULATION - Nearly 1.9 million immigrants would have a pathway to U.S. citizenship from the 2021 Dream Act.
The Dream Act of 2021 (S.264) defines Dreamers as individuals who entered the U.S. before age 18 in 2017 or earlier, and have continually lived in the United States since that time. They are inadmissible/deportable under current immigration law, or protected by Temporary Protected Status (TPS). Dreamers in the 2021 Dream Act also must have finished high school or its equivalent, or be enrolled in school.
Nearly 1.9 million immigrants eligible under the 2021 Dream Act live in the U.S., making up roughly one-fifth of the total population of undocumented immigrants in the U.S.
More than 1 million, or more than half of the immigrant population under the 2021 Dream Act, are eligible for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). This program started in 2012 and was recently reopened to eligible individuals who entered the U.S. in 2007 or earlier, at 15 years old or younger, and were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012. DACA applicants must also have obtained a high school diploma or its equivalent, be currently enrolled in school, or be an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States. About 640,000 undocumented immigrants had active DACA status as of September 30, 2020, and under the Dream Act of 2021 would be eligible for immediate conditional permanent residence.
A small number of Dreamers under the 2021 Dream Act—an estimated 80,000, or 4%—are holders of, or are eligible for, TPS, a renewable protection for certain immigrants in the U.S. where the U.S. government has deemed it unsafe for them to return to their country of origin. The U.S. Senate recently reintroduced the Safe Environment from Countries Under Repression and Emergency (SECURE) Act (S.879), which would grant legal status to the TPS population of 400,000 people. Most are from El Salvador, Honduras, or Haiti.