On August 30, 2021, the presidents of St. Joseph’s College of Maine and University of New England, on behalf of all of the members of the Maine Independent Colleges Association (MICA) held a press conference calling for Maine’s delegation to make sure that Congress passes the Dream Act.
At the press conference, President Jim Dlugos of St. Joe’s, and President James Herbert of UNE announced that MICA had sent a letter to Maine’s senators asking them to support passing protections for Dreamers through the budget reconciliation process. Read the letter here.
While the Dream Act has bipartisan support nationwide and the House of Representatives has already passed its version of the bill, prospects for Senate action on the Dream Act of 2021 appear dim. The MICA letter underscores that inaction is not an option, and Congress must pass a path forward for Dreamers and those with Deferred Action for childhood arrivals through inclusion in the budget reconciliation process.
Immigration legislation has been frequently enacted by Congress through inclusion in budget bills, regardless of which party is in control. Congress must use this process again, so that finally, Dreamers and other long term farm workers, essential workers, and TPS holders can have the security of permanent legal status, and can live to their full potential in our communities and workforce.