What is the Dream Act and Who Are the Dreamers?

Social Justice
Dream Activists
Carlos Amador / CC BY-NC 2.0
Grade Level:
High School
Common Core Standards:
Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening
Social Justice

The DREAM Act (short for Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act) was a bill in Congress that would have granted legal status to certain undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children and went to school here. Although several versions of the bill have been introduced in Congress since 2001, it has never passed. In the last few years the term “DREAMer” has been used to describe young undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children, who have lived and gone to school here, and who in many cases identify as American. The term DREAMer originally took its name from the bill in Congress, but it has a double meaning about the undocumented youth who have big hopes and dreams for a better future.

This high school lesson provides an opportunity for students to learn more about the DREAM Act, reflect on different perspectives about it and identify their own opinion to defend in writing.

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