Background Brief: Immigration and International Students

The first iteration of the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act was introduced on August 1, 2001, just a month before the United States would feel the impact of the September 11 terrorist attacks that would mark a cultural shift in the nation’s view on immigration. After a decade without a legislative solution, the Obama Administration used executive authority to create the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in 20121, which acted as a compromise to providing a citizenship pathway by, as the name infers, deferring deportation through prosecutorial discretion for eligible undocumented individuals. Today the future of DACA is uncertain, following the September2017announcement of its rescission2, and the failure of the DREAM Actor similar legislation to advance through Congress.