AILA Public Statements, Press Releases

AILA Welcomes Bipartisan Dream Act of 2017; Calls on Congress and the Administration to Protect Dreamers

7/20/17 AILA Doc. No. 17072003. DACA, Deferred Action, Removal & Relief
George Tzamaras
Belle Woods

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) welcomed the introduction of the Dream Act of 2017, a bipartisan bill authored by Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Dick Durbin (D-IL). The Dream Act of 2017 would provide young people who were brought to this country as children and grew up in the United States the chance to apply for lawful permanent residence, if they meet certain requirements.

Annaluisa Padilla, AILA President, praised the Senators leading this effort, saying, "I congratulate Senators Graham and Durbin for their introduction of the Dream Act of 2017. There is tremendous bipartisan support for Dreamers and for reforms that will take them out of the purgatory of a life in fear and on to a route to permanent status, and ultimately citizenship, in the country they call home. While Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) has given many young, talented and contributing members of our communities a temporary reprieve from deportation, Dreamers deserve an opportunity to secure a permanent home in our country. Through the filing of DACA applications, thousands of AILA members have advised and represent Dreamers, and the stories of each individual seeking a better life, a better education, a chance to work, and a life free from fear, are affirmations of the American Dream. With their hard work, perseverance, and deep community roots, Dreamers make our country stronger and better."

AILA Executive Director Benjamin Johnson noted, "The introduction of this bill is proof that when it comes to immigration, it is possible to set aside partisan politics and do the right thing. Today, Senators Graham and Durbin have declared their intention to stand up for Dreamers and now the administration must follow suit. For more than 15 years, an overwhelming majority of the public has agreed that the Dreamer population is an integral part of our country and that they deserve a chance to build their lives here. DACA was a first step in that process and though it provides short-term protection, it is not the solution. We call on President Trump to pledge to protect DACA grantees and keep the program alive until the Dream Act becomes law."


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.