Joint Statement of Support for Higher Education Dream Act of 2019

For Immediate Release: February 15, 2019

Contact: Jose Magana-Salgado 

Today, the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration, TheDream.US, NAFSA: Association of International Educators, National Association for College Admission Counseling, and the Community College Consortium for Immigrant Education express their support of Rep. John Lewis and Rep. Ruben Gallego’s recently introduced Higher Education Dream Act of 2019. The Higher Education Dream Act represents a bold and critically needed step to fulfill America’s promise of education and opportunity to immigrant youth and students, including individuals eligible for the Dream Act (commonly known as “Dreamers”), and Temporary Protected Status  (TPS) recipients.

Immigrant students across the nation face many obstacles and lack of consistency in terms of access to higher education, in-state tuition, and financial aid. Importantly, undocumented immigrant students do not have any access to federal financial aid. The Higher Education Dream Act would establish a uniform framework whereby higher education institutions will have the freedom to make decisions concerning admission and financial aid regardless of a student’s immigration status.  Under the bill, eligible immigrant youth who satisfy all of a state’s residency criteria would have access to in-state tuition in their states of residence. Moreover, the bill would expand critically needed federal aid eligibility for these students.

Immigrant students, who have attended and graduated from high schools in the United States, are integral members of our communities deserving of dignity, respect, and the opportunity to realize their full human potential. Immigrant students able to pursue their academic and professional dreams can better contribute, socially and economically, to our communities and nation. Uniform access to higher education is essential to ensure that these students will help meet the challenges that lie before us, just as generations of immigrants have done before them.

As organizations, we commend Rep. Lewis and Rep. Gallego’s introduction of this legislation and will continue to collaborate with these offices, other stakeholders, and immigrant students to ensure this legislation is codified into law.

About our organizations:

The non-partisan Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration brings together college and university leaders dedicated to increasing public understanding of how immigration policies and practices impact our students, campuses and communities, and supporting policies that create a welcoming environment for undocumented, immigrant, and international students. The Alliance is comprised of over 420 presidents and chancellors of public and private colleges and universities, serving over four million students in 41 states, D.C. and Puerto Rico.

TheDream.US is the nation’s largest college access and success program for DREAMers, having provided 4,000 scholarships to students with DACA and TPS at more than 75 partner colleges in 15 states and Washington, DC. We believe that all young people, regardless of where they were born, should have the opportunity to fulfill their potential, gain an education, and fully participate in the country that they call home. 

With more than 10,000 members worldwide, NAFSA: Association of International Educators is the leading organization committed to international education and exchange, working to advance policies and practices that build global citizens with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in today’s interconnected world.

The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), founded in 1937, is an organization of more than 15,000 professionals from around the world dedicated to serving students as they make choices about pursuing postsecondary education. NACAC is committed to maintaining high standards that foster ethical and social responsibility among those involved in the transition process, as outlined in the association’s Code of Ethics and Professional Practices.

The Community College Consortium for Immigrant Education is a national network of community colleges and other professional organizations committed to increasing educational and career opportunities for immigrant and refugee students. CCCIE builds the capacity of community colleges to accelerate immigrant and refugee success and raises awareness of the essential role these colleges play in advancing immigrant integration through education. CCCIE’s work is guided by a Blue Ribbon Panel of community college leaders, representing over 50 colleges serving an estimated 1.2 million students.

Joint Statement of Support for Higher Education Dream Act of 2019