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3 Things You Didn’t Know About DREAMers

1. There is a difference between the terms ‘DACA’ and ‘DREAMer’.

The two terms are often used interchangeably. But they’re not the same. The Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act is a bill introduced in the United States Senate in July 2017. The bill is designed to protect DREAMers from deportation. If passed, the DREAM act becomes the law of the land.

DACA is different. The executive order known as DACA – or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals – was signed by President Barack Obama to provide DREAMers some relief from deportation. The DACA program was ended by President Donald Trump in September 2017. The difference with the DREAMers bill is that the DACA program is temporary and can be undone by any president.

The Supreme Court’s hearing on November 12 commences the process to decide whether that decision was unlawful, and will decide the legal fate of nearly a million Americans.

2. The majority of DREAMers are from Mexico, but not all. Most DREAMers live in California and Texas.

While most DACA recipients are from Mexico, there are substantial numbers from other countries such as El Salvador and Guatemala, as well as thousands of recipients from South Korea, India, Poland, and Pakistan. California and Texas are home to nearly 50 percent of all DACA recipients. Close to 15% live in Los Angeles.

3. Many DREAMers suffer huge emotional stress.

Living with an uncertain future is extremely difficult. In September, the U.S. Immigration Policy Center at the University of California, San Diego; United We Dream; the National Immigration Law Center; and the Center for American Progress conducted a national survey to better understand the experiences of DREAMers around the country. Ninety three percent of respondents reported concerns about their or their family’s physical safety; their access to healthcare or education; food security; or risk of homelessness if they were deported to their respective countries of birth. Mental health is a huge concern for many DREAMers, who have lived their lives fearful of government authorities because they were undocumented and living from deadline to deadline to file for DACA renewal.

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