Amicus Brief with 168 Colleges, Universities, and Non-Profit Organizations Highlights New and Emerging Data on Contributions of DACA Recipients

For Immediate Release:
February 1, 2024

Amicus Brief with 168 Colleges, Universities, and Non-Profit Organizations Highlights New and Emerging Data on Contributions of DACA Recipients

Access new amicus brief from the Presidents’ Alliance in collaboration with TheDream.US HERE

Washington D.C. – The Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration and TheDream.US announced the submission of an amicus brief filed with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in Texas v. United States in support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The brief highlights emerging data from TheDream.US and asserts the “enormous and positive impact” DACA recipients have had “on their employers, their families, and the U.S. economy as a whole.” The brief was drafted by a team at Goodwin Procter led by David Zimmer, a partner in Goodwin’s Supreme Court and Appellate practice.

The 168 institutions and organizations supporting this brief represent the diverse landscape of contemporary higher education, spanning across 32 states and the District of Columbia. This inclusive group includes state university systems, research institutions, Hispanic-serving and historically Black colleges, faith-based institutions, private schools, community colleges, and nonprofits. Their collective endorsement underscores the crucial role immigrant students play in various postsecondary settings and attests to the sector expertise represented in this brief.

The brief includes the following three sections attesting to DACA recipients’ expansive contributions.

  1. DACA recipients graduating from college match or outperform their peers on key metrics and are making significant contributions to the most important sectors of our economy.  
  2. DACA recipients achieve social mobility and support their children and, in many cases, their parents and other family members.  
  3. DACA’s end would be a blow to higher-education institutions of all types as well as their students and graduates.

According to Cezanne Hayden-Dilbert, Manager of Operations and People at the Presidents’ Alliance: 

“For me and countless other DACA recipients, the DACA program has been a catalyst for profound change in our lives. It has empowered many of us to achieve our educational aspirations, support our families, and fulfill the dreams our parents harbored for us. However, it was never intended to serve as a permanent fix, but rather as a temporary measure until legislative action could be enacted. We are deeply ingrained in the fabric of this nation, yet recent court rulings have once again cast doubt on our dreams, livelihoods, and futures. Reinstating this program in its entirety is imperative, alongside efforts to establish lasting legislative solutions.”

According to Gaby Pacheco, President and CEO at TheDream.US:

“DACA has provided thousands of TheDream.US Scholars and alumni not only access to a work permit, but also an opportunity to prove themselves as students and employees who strengthen the nation every single day as nurses, teachers, engineers and in other essential occupations. The data in the new amicus brief underscores the success of our Scholars and alumni and makes the case for why we should be expanding, not restricting, opportunities for Dreamers.”

According to Miriam Feldblum, Executive Director of the Presidents’ Alliance:

“Colleges and universities are exceptionally positioned to speak to the achievements and contributions of DACA recipients. They are students and alumni working in crucial sectors of our economy, including STEM, healthcare, teaching, and entrepreneurship. They are campus administrators, professional staff, faculty members, and organizational leaders. Ending DACA and its work authorization would be a significant blow to the U.S. economy, harm higher education institutions, and have a devastating impact on thousands of families and children.”


  • Read the amicus brief from the Presidents’ Alliance in collaboration with TheDream.US HERE

The nonpartisan, nonprofit Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration brings college and university presidents and chancellors together on the immigration issues that impact higher education, our students, campuses, communities and nation. We work to support undocumented, international and refugee students, and advance forward-looking immigration policies and practices at the federal level, in our states, and across our college campuses. The Alliance is composed of 550+ college and university presidents and chancellors of public and private colleges and universities, enrolling over five million students in 43 states, D.C., and Puerto Rico.

TheDream.US, a fiscally sponsored project of New Venture Fund. is the nation’s largest college and career success program for undocumented immigrant students, having provided more than 10,000 college scholarships to Dreamers attending over 80 partner colleges in 21 states and Washington, DC. We believe everyone, regardless of where they were born, should have equitable access to a college education, a meaningful career, and opportunities to contribute to the communities they call home. For more information on TheDream.US, visit