Supporting a Legislative Solution for Dreamers – Letter Template
Institutions of higher education can adapt and send the following template to Senate delegations in support of the Dream Act of 2021, which would codify Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) into law and provide a path to citizenship for certain undocumented immigrants with and without DACA who arrived in the United States at a young age. The Dream Act of 2021 was reintroduced in the Senate by Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Dick Durbin (D-IL).
Institutions can and should edit any portion of the below letter. Be sure to edit and customize the terms in [brackets] and highlighted in yellow; customize the letter as much as you see fit.
The Honorable [full Senator name]
Washington, D.C. 20002
RE: REQUEST TO SUPPORT A PERMANENT LEGISLATIVE SOLUTION FOR DACA RECIPIENTS AND OTHER IMMIGRANT YOUTH
Dear Senators [surname] and [surname]:
On behalf of the undersigned higher education institutions, we write to respectfully urge you to cosponsor and vote for a permanent legislative solution for DACA recipients and other immigrant youth, such as the Dream Act of 2021 (S.264), which would provide a roadmap to citizenship for upwards of 1.7 million Dreamers, or the American Dream and Promise Act of 2021, which would provide a pathway to citizenship for upwards of 3 million Dreamers and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders. These bills represents a vital effort to provide relief to our [state] Dreamers. Our nation desperately needs legislation that permanently protects Dreamers and establishes a roadmap to citizenship. These individuals—Americans in every sense but on paper—seek to pursue their studies, work in our communities, serve in the military, and contribute to our state and nation.
As higher education leaders, we see the immense contributions that our immigrant and international students, scholars, staff, and faculty make on a daily basis to our campuses and communities. Protection for Dreamers during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is particularly critical, as 202,500 DACA recipients are currently employed as essential workers keeping our country fed, safe, clean, and healthy on the front lines of a global health crisis.
An estimated 98,000 undocumented students graduate from high school every year, including [number] in [state], representing [number] percent of graduating undocumented immigrants. There are approximately [number] DACA recipients in [state], with an additional [number] eligible to apply. Nationally there are approximately 427,000 undocumented students enrolled in higher education institutions, including 181,000 DACA-eligible individuals. In [state], there are roughly [number] undocumented immigrants enrolled in institutions of higher education. Of these enrolled students, [number] are DACA-eligible individuals. These students are working diligently to advance themselves, notwithstanding their uncertainty regarding whether they will be able to complete their education, much less remain and make a life in the United States.
[Specific examples/cases from your school or state that demonstrate why your institution supports this legislation, changing identifying information where appropriate to protect undocumented participants. Include information like the affected party (students, employees, alumni, etc.), their connection to your state/institution, what they stand to lose, and what you stand to lose without them.]
There is strong, bipartisan support to protect DACA recipients and other immigrant youth and for Congress to establish a roadmap to citizenship. In a February 2021 Quinnipiac poll, 83 percent of all Americans (and 66 percent of Republicans) favored “allowing undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children to remain in the United States and eventually apply for citizenship.” In fact, according to PRRI polling, support for allowing these young individuals to gain legal resident status has steadily increased over the years.
We appreciate your many efforts thus far to support higher education on behalf of our state and its immigrant and international students. We sincerely hope you will continue to support those who contribute so much to our campuses, communities, and economy.
We are eager to work with you on these important issues. For any questions or to follow up from this letter, please contact [name] of [institution] at [email] or [phone].
 Jessica Bolter, et al., Back on the Table: U.S. Legalization and the Unauthorized Immigrant Groups that Could Factor in the Debate, Migr. Pol’y Inst. 9 (2021), available at https://www.migrationpolicy.org/research/us-legalization-unauthorized-immigrant-groups. Dreamers consist of a variety of domestic students, including students with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and other undocumented immigrant students who arrived in the United States at a young age.
 Nicole Prchal Svajlenka, A Demographic Profile of DACA Recipients on the Frontlines of the Coronavirus Response, Ctr. for Am. Progress (Apr. 6, 2020), https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/immigration/news/2020/04/06/482708/demographic-profile-daca-recipients-frontlines-coronavirus-response/.
 [Refer to this source to include state-specific information, if available for your state]. Jie Zong & Jeanne Batalova, How Many Unauthorized Immigrants Graduate from U.S. High Schools Annually?, Migr. Pol’y Inst. (2019), available at https://www.higheredimmigrationportal.org/research/migration-policy-institute-fact-sheet-on-number-of-dreamers-graduating-from-high-school/.
 [Refer to this source to include state-specific information.] Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Data Tools, Migr. Pol’y Inst., (Sept. 30, 2020), https://www.migrationpolicy.org/programs/data-hub/deferred-action-childhood-arrivals-daca-profiles.
 Pres.’ All. on Higher Educ. & Immigr. & New Am. Econ., Undocumented Students in Higher Education: How Many Students are in U.S. Colleges and Universities, and Who Are They? (2021), available at https://www.higheredimmigrationportal.org/research/undocumented-students-in-higher-education-updated-march-2021/.
 Quinnipiac Univ. Poll, Press Release, 61% Optimistic About Next Four Years With Biden in Office, Quinnipiac University National Poll Finds; 68% of Americans Support the $1.9 Trillion Stimulus Relief Bill (Feb. 3, 2021), https://poll.qu.edu/images/polling/us/us02032021_uszn68.pdf.
 Robert P. Jones, et al., Pub. Religion Rsch. Inst., Immigration After Trump: What Would Immigration Policy That Followed American Public Opinion Look Like? (2021), available at https://www.prri.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/PRRI-2021-Immigration-Post-Trump.pdf.