DREAMers by State

Lets explore some data on the numbers and geographic distribution of illegal immigration in the US, remembering of course that illegal immigration is only one part of the broader immigration policy issue. Use the graph below to explore data on the DREAMers. We also tell you a little about the contemporary political debates on the issue. When you are done exploring, answer the questions below using the data as a resource, and click “submit” to activate the arrow to advance.

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Sources: DREAMers estimates are provided by the Immigration Policy Center (2012); DACA numbers from the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (2017).

DACA in Focus

One of the most important debates in recent years has been what to do about undocumented immigrants brought to the US as minors. After several variants of the DREAM failed in Congress after its first introduction in 2001, which would have granted conditional and/or legal residency to these individuals, President Obama signed an executive order creating the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which ceased deportations of individuals meeting the DREAM Act requirements who applied for the program. President Trump repealed the DACA program, and after being challenged in the courts its future is unclear. Supporters of DACA argue that DREAMers were brought to the US before they could consent, making them not liable for their parents’ choices, and emphasize the contributions of DREAMers to American society, including service in the Armed Forces, and the economy. Opponents of DACA have cited misuse of authority and an abdication of constitutional law enforcement duties by the president in first creating the program, and argue that providing legal amnesty to DREAMers poses moral hazard by encouraging more parents to bring children across the border without documentation in the future, expecting that their children, too, will someday be granted resident status.

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