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NEW YORK, NY, Jan. 23, 2018 – The Center for Migration Studies of New York (CMS) released a paper published in its Journal on Migration and Human Security titled, “DREAM Act-Eligible Poised to Build on the Investments Made in Them.” The paper – co-authored by Donald Kerwin, CMS’s Executive Director, and Robert Warren, a CMS Senior Fellow – outlines the results of a CMS study on the young immigrants (known as the “dreamers”) who would be eligible for conditional permanent status under the DREAM Act of 2017.

The study paints a portrait of a highly productive, integrated group of young Americans, who are deeply committed to the United States and poised to make – with status and time – even more substantial contributions to the communities that have invested in them. These investments include $150 billion that states and localities have to date spent on the education of dreamers. The paper highlights potential DREAM Act recipients’ large numbers, prevalence throughout the country, high levels of employment and self-employment, long residence, US families, English language proficiency, and substantial education levels. It argues that, with time and, particularly, with a path to citizenship, the dreamers would be able to contribute significantly more to their communities. Finally, the study finds that a large number of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) recipients, who will soon lose this status, would qualify for relief under the DREAM Act.

Among the findings are:

  • DREAM-Act-eligible can be found in large numbers (5,000 or more) in 41 states;
  • Potential DREAM Act recipients have lived in the United States for an average of 14 years;
  • 392,500 have US-citizen children, and more than 100,000 are married to a US-citizen or lawful permanent resident;
  • 70,500 are self-employed and nearly one-third have attended college or received a college degree; and
  • Sixty-five percent (age 16 or above) participate in the work force, with far higher rates in Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Utah, Arkansas, Illinois, Tennessee, and Oregon.

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“This report is being released during a government shutdown in which the legalization of recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) has been a contentious issue,” said Donald Kerwin. “This should not be the case. More than 16 years after the introduction of the first DREAM Act, Congress should expeditiously pass and President Trump should sign legislation to legalize DACA recipients and the other dreamers profiled in this report. As the report illustrates, legalization of the dreamers, including a path to citizenship, would be an investment in America.”  To download the new CMS report, visit http://cmsny.org/publications/jmhs-dream-act/.

The Center for Migration Studies (CMS) is a New York-based educational institute devoted to the study of international migration, to the promotion of understanding between immigrants and receiving communities, and to public policies that safeguard the dignity and rights of migrants, refugees and newcomers. For more information, please visit www.cmsny.org.