DREAM Act USA 2009/10

June 2009 DREAM act graduation in Washington DC by DreamActivist on Flickr

June 2009 DREAM act graduation in Washington DC by DreamActivist on Flickr


Immigrant high school and university students in the United States have used the internet effectively in building activist networks to support the passing of a law called the DREAM act.

The DREAM Act (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act) is a proposed bill for a new law in the United States that would offer a 6-year path to legalization for undocumented youth who arrived in the country before their 16th birthday, graduated from high-school, and have been enrolled in college or the military for more than 2 years. Different versions of the bill have been up for discussion since 2001 (it was last rejected in 2007), but the Dream Act was re-introduced for review in both chambers of congress on March 26, 2009.

The fight for the Dream Act over the past five years has produced a steadily growing stream of immigrant youth activists, who have become politically engaged either through high school and campus organizations, national coalitions, internet and blogs, and youth projects within immigrant rights organizations. Since the re-introduction of the bill, thousands of undocumented youth and their allies have become re-energized in their efforts and a number of new online initiatives have appeared.

The young people in question are sons and daughters of immigrants who entered the United States without papers. Often they arrive too young to even recall their home countries. They attend school and are raised in American culture, only to find as they leave high school that their opportunities for higher education and employment are stunted by their legal status. As they come of age, they must hide in the shadows of American life in isolation and fear of deportation.

Global Voices stories

Feb 11 – USA: Undocumented Students Begin Week of Action on February 22

Oct 01 – USA: Mapping DREAM Act Online Youth Movements
Sep 30 – USA: Immigrant Students in National Day of Action
Sep 03 – USA: Deportations Feared as New School Year Begins
Aug 17 – USA: “I am getting deported on Wednesday”
Jan 23 – USA: Blogging their Dreams of Citizenship

Key websites

Map of the online movement

This map was created by Marisol Ramos to show the range and reach of the DREAM act activist movement in the United States. See her accompanying article.

The colors indicate the following:

  • Yellow = Online Based organizations
  • Red = State Based Immigrant Rights organizations
  • Green = Policy organizations
  • Blue = Student organizations

View Dream Act Activism in a larger map

Live Twitter Search for #dreamact