Durbin, Graham Introduce The Dream Act

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, introduced the Dream Act of 2023, which would allow noncitizens without lawful status who were brought to the United States as children and meet certain education or work requirements to earn lawful permanent residence.  Durbin and Graham have introduced identical legislation in the last three sessions of Congress. 

These young people, known as Dreamers, have lived in America since they were children, built their lives here, and are American in every way except for their immigration status.  However, under current law there is often no chance for them to ever become citizens and fulfill their potential. 

“Dreamers are teachers, nurses, and small business owners in our communities, but because DACA hangs by a thread in the courts, they live each day in fear of deportation.  It is clear that only Congress can give them the stability they deserve and a path to lawful permanent residence,” Durbin said.  “I first introduced the Dream Actmore than 20 years ago, and I’ll continue fighting until it becomes the law of the land.  This is a matter of simple American fairness and justice.  I thank Senator Graham for his continued partnership in this important bipartisan effort.” 

“While I continue to support relief for Dreamers, I hope my Democratic colleagues understand we must repair a broken border and address a tsunami of illegal immigration before that is remotely possible,” said Graham.  “The Dreamers represent a class of illegal immigrants that have much public support because they were minors brought here by their parents and America has become their home. To provide relief to this population, we must first convince Americans that the unending wave of illegal immigration will stop.”  

The Dream Act of 2023 would allow these young people to earn lawful permanent residence and eventually American citizenship if they:

  • Came to the U.S. as children and are without lawful status;
  • Graduate from high school or obtain a GED;
  • Pursue higher education, work lawfully for at least three years, or serve in the military;
  • Pass security and law enforcement background checks and pay a reasonable application fee;
  • Demonstrate proficiency in the English language and a knowledge of United States history; and
  • Have not committed a felony or other serious crimes and do not pose a threat to our country.