AILA Public Statements, Press Releases, Advocacy & Media

Congress Leaves Without Passing Dream Act, Jeopardizing the Lives of Thousands

12/22/17 AILA Doc. No. 17122200. DACA, Deferred Action, Removal & Relief
George Tzamaras
Belle Woods

WASHINGTON, DC – The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) is deeply disappointed by Congress' failure to pass the Dream Act before the December holidays. The inaction by Congress puts even more Dreamers and their families at risk and hurts the businesses and communities across the nation that depend on them. AILA calls on Congress and the President to grant Dreamers permanent legal status as soon as possible in 2018.

"Yesterday, despite the many pledges from Republicans and Democrats, Congress missed another opportunity to protect Dreamers leaving even more young lives hanging in the balance," said Annaluisa Padilla, AILA President. She continued, "In passing a spending bill that does not include protections for Dreamers, Congress is literally funding operations to arrest, detain and deport Dreamers. Every day that passes, more than one hundred people lose their protection under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative. Now over 13,000 DACA recipients have lost protection and are in danger of deportation. Another 3,400 will lose protection over these next few weeks before Congress returns from its holiday break. AILA members represent Dreamers and must counsel them about the very real fear of deportation. Indeed, Dreamers who lost DACA protection have already been arrested and detained by immigration authorities and each day that passes, the risk of deportation grows."

Benjamin Johnson, AILA Executive Director stated, "The failure of Congress to include a solution for Dreamers as part of this short-term spending bill is yet another blow to these young people who are American in every way except their lack of papers. Nearly nine out of 10 Americans support permanent protection for Dreamers, and there is widespread bipartisan support for this in both the House and Senate. With such overwhelming agreement, this is no longer a debate about policy but a question of whether our leaders who control the reins of power in Washington will make the morally courageous decision to protect Dreamers. Fortunately, there is another chance for Congress to pass legislation when it returns in January. AILA members have fought tirelessly alongside Dreamers, and we will continue to press our nation's leaders to do the right thing."


The American Immigration Lawyers Association is the national association of immigration lawyers established to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice, and enhance the professional development of its members.