Presidents’ Alliance Steering Committee Letter in Support of Dream and Promise Act of 2019

This week, the Presidents’ Alliance Steering Committee transmitted a letter to the U.S. House of Representatives supporting H.R. 6, Dream and Promise Act of 2019 and urging its immediate passage. For the text of the letter, see below.

Steering Committee Letter in Support of Dream and Promise Act of 2019

March 27, 2019

U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Member of the U.S. House of Representatives:

As the Steering Committee for the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration (Presidents’ Alliance), we write in strong support of H.R. 6, the Dream and Promise Act, and urge the House of Representatives to move swiftly and pass this critically needed legislation to protect DACA recipients, other Dreamers, and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) holders. H.R. 6 would establish a roadmap to citizenship for upwards of 2.3 million Dreamers, including long-time immigrant youth whose lack of status precludes additional education, employment, and service in the Uniformed Services.[1] Equally as important, H.R. 6 would provide a roadmap to citizenship to 430,000 TPS and DED holders.[2] We thank those Members of Congress who are cosponsors of the bill and urge those who are not to consider co-sponsorship.

The non-partisan Presidents’ Alliance is comprised of over 420 college and university presidents and chancellors of public and private institutions. Together, our members’ institutions enroll over four million students across 41 states, D.C., and Puerto Rico. The Presidents’ Alliance is committed to supporting policies that create a welcoming environment for undocumented, immigrant, and international students; and are deeply concerned about how changes in our nation’s immigration policies and practices impact our students and campuses and the communities and states we serve.[3]

For colleges and universities, permanent protection for all Dreamers is particularly critical. Many DACA recipients and other Dreamers are deeply connected to higher education, as students or prospective students, and as alumni, family members, staff, or faculty of our schools. These individuals contribute daily to our campuses and communities. As higher education leaders, we see in our classrooms and labs and among our alumni and workers the drive, accomplishments and potential of these individuals; yet, without the permanent legislative relief that only Congress can provide, their anxiety and uncertainty for the future and their families continues to grow. Likewise, protection for TPS recipients is especially needed in light of the over 275,000 U.S. citizen children and youth with one or more TPS parents, and the valued role of TPS holders in higher education as students, alumni, and as part of our campus workforces.[4]

Importantly, the Dream and Promise Act contains a variety of the Alliance’s education and immigration priorities, including restoration of state authority to expand in-state tuition to undocumented immigrant students; and expanded access to Title IV federal student aid and financial assistance programs, loans, work study, and services. The bill establishes a grant program for nonprofit entities, including universities, colleges, and law schools, to assist applicants. Finally, the bill provides the ability for students and others to travel internationally, including for study and research abroad, while an individual’s application is pending.

The provisions of the Dream and Promise Act represent an intelligent and thoughtful investment in immigrant students and a vital way to ensure an effective return on investment for our local communities and regional economies. Providing long-term stability and greater certainty for immigrant youth and young adults and expanding and encouraging their access to higher education will strengthen workforce development, increase the pools of skilled professionals, grow the potential of their economic contributions, and enhance our national prosperity.[5] A legislative solution to their predicament is not only the right thing to do by them, but in the best interests of our country.

For these reasons we at the Presidents’ Alliance support H.R. 6, and urge the House to pass this legislation swiftly and without delay. If you have any questions, please contact Jose Magaña-Salgado at


Steering Committee Members

[1]Julia Gelatt, More Than a DREAM (Act), Less Than a Promise, Migration Policy Institute, March 2019,


[3]For more information about the Presidents’ Alliance, visit

[4]Nicole Prchal Svajlenka, Angie Bautista-Chavez, and Laura Muñoz, TPS Holders Are Integral Members of the U.S. Economy and Society, Center for American Progress, Oct. 20, 2017, Lopez

[5]Jeanne Batalova and Michael Fix, Credentials for the Future: Mapping the Potential for Immigrant-Origin Adults in the United States, Migration Policy Institute, March 2019,; Jacqueline Varas, Usama Zafar, Estimating the Economic Contributions of DACA Recipients, American Action Forum, Dec. 21, 2107,; Amanda Baran, Economic Contributions by Salvadoran, Honduran, and Haitian TPS Holders, Immigrant Legal Resource Center, April 19, 2017,