Below, the Alliance provides sample talking points and messaging that you can incorporate in your advocacy around H.R. 6.
General Talking Points
- Permanent Relief. The Dream Act of 2019 would provide permanent relief for upwards 1.7 million Dreamers, many of whom have deep ties to our communities, decades of residency, and cannot obtain immigration status under existing law. The SECURE Act would provide permanent relief for upwards of 437,000 TPS & DED holders.
- Roadmap to Citizenship. The Dream Act of 2019 would establish a roadmap to citizenship for upwards of 1.7 million Dreamers. The SECURE Act would establish a roadmap to citizenship for upwards of 437,000 TPS and DED holders.
- Majority of Americans Support Dreamers. According to Gallup, 83 percent of Americans support a roadmap to citizenship for Dreamers, including three fourths of Republicans.
- Bipartisanship. Members of Congress must move forward to, quickly and in a bipartisan manner to provide relief to over 2 million Dreamers and TPS & DED holders.
Roadmap to Citizenship Talking Points
- DACA, TPS, and DED. The Dream Act of 2019 and the SECURE Act provide a roadmap to citizenship for Temporary Protected Status and Deferred Enforced Departure holders, who represent students and are part of the workforce in higher education institutions. Temporary Protected Status holders alone have over 275,000 U.S. citizen children.
- TPS/DED Requirements. For current or former Temporary Protected Status/Deferred Enforced Departure holders to obtain lawful permanent resident status under the Dream and Promise Act of 2019, an individual must have been eligible for TPS or DED on the date their country was last designated for TPS or DED.
- Dreamer Requirements. For Dreamers to obtain conditional permanent resident status under the Dream Act of 2019, an individual must have arrived in the United States before the age of 18; lived in the country for four or more years; meet certain educational requirements; and pass a background check.
- Economic Gains and DACA. According to the Center for American Progress, failing to enact the Dream Act and protect DACA recipients would result in a loss of $460.3 billion from our nation’s GDP over the next decade and eliminate close to 685,000 workers from our nation’s economic engine.
- Economic Gains and TPS. According to the Center for American Progress, failing to enact the SECURE Act and protect TPS holders from El Salvador, Haiti, and Honduras would result in $164 billion reduction in GDP over a decade; and according to the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, lead to $6.9 billion in reductions to Social Security and Medicare contributions over a decade.
- Investing in Students. Expanding access to higher education for Dreamers, TPS and DED holders ensures that our nation can fully benefit from the investment and contributions that it has made in immigrant students through elementary and secondary school.
In-State Tuition and Section 505
- Expanding Access to In-State Tuition. The Dream Act of 2019 contains vital access to higher education provisions, including restoring the ability of states to offer in-state tuition to undocumented immigrant students who otherwise meet residency requirement; expanding access to federal financial grants, loans, services, and work study; restoring the ability to travel abroad.
- Local Control is More Effective. States, higher education institutions, and local education officials are in the best position to decide how to provide in-state tuition and the federal government should not micromanage state’s education policies.
- 100k Immigrant Graduates per Year. Every year, nearly 100,000 undocumented immigrant students graduate from high school, and many of these students did not have the opportunity to apply for DACA, which makes federal legislation to protect Dreamers even more urgent.
- States’ Discretion. It is essential that states have the discretion to enact policies to facilitate these students' participation in higher education, particularly around in-state tuition.
- In-State Tuition as a Priority for States. Over twenty states and Washington D.C. offer in-state tuition to immigrant students, some through legislative action and other through the university system itself, signalling a desire among states to provide investment in their student population through in-state tuition.
- National Economic Benefits. Expansion of in-state tuition yields to increase economic benefits to the state, including increased tax receipts, greater GDP contributions, and increased spending power in local communities.
- Case Examples for State Tuition. In regards to economic benefits to states, the New American Economy found that in-state tuition for DACA recipients would yield $1.2 million in federal, state, and local taxes per year and a growth in $3.9 million in spending power. Similarly, in state tuition for immigrants in Texas yields over $400 million in economic activity.
- Fairness to Longtime Residents. Immigrant students that would potentially benefit represent individuals who have lived in the state for most of their lives and, aside from their immigration status, would qualify for in-state tuition.
- Increased Enrollment Benefits Everyone. There is not a finite number of educational spots in higher education institutions—which includes community colleges and other postsecondary schools—and the availability of in-state tuition would grow enrollments and the financial stability of schools.
- Helps States’ Enrollment Goals. More than 40 states have established goals for postsecondary credential attainment, such as a goal of having 60% of state residents earn a college degree or other postsecondary credential by 2025, and access to in-state tuition is absolutely critical for states to be able to meet these requirements.
- Economic Benefit for Individuals. Colleges and universities serve as key generators of social and economic mobility for all students in our nation and since 2008, the majority of the new jobs created in the economy are going to college-educated individuals. In-state tuition is critical to fostering continued growth in our nation’s economy.
- Increased Earnings. Research studies consistently demonstrate that postsecondary education can increase economic mobility and improve lives. Over a career, an average high school graduate earns at least $1.4 million; an associate’s degree holder earns at least $1.8 million; a bachelor’s degree holder earns $2.5 million; a master’s degree holder earns $2.9 million; a PhD holder earns $3.5 million; and a professional degree holder earns at least $4 million.