Our Mission

Focusing on the personal stories of Dreamers and their families, The Dream Is Now calls for common sense reform that gives all undocumented immigrants the chance to earn their citizenship and contribute fully to our society.

The Dream is Now is an effort of concerned citizens who believe we need to fix America’s broken immigration system, giving undocumented youth and their families the chance to earn their citizenship. We support common sense immigration reform that includes the principles of the DREAM Act.

There are millions of undocumented young people in America – many brought here as children and raised as Americans. They’re our friends and neighbors, our classmates and varsity athletes. All they know is America, yet they face deportation to countries they may know nothing about, with languages they may not even speak. By keeping these talented young people from contributing to our economy, our broken immigration laws are failing all of us.

The cost of continued legislative inaction is enormous. It costs $23,000 to deport one person. As a country, we stand to lose an estimated $329 billion by 2030 by denying Dreamers the chance to become taxpaying citizens and economic innovators. We can't afford to waste the talent and promise of so many.

In April 2013, we released a compelling 30-minute documentary by Oscar-winning filmmaker Davis Guggenheim (“Inconvenient Truth” and “Waiting for Superman”), sharing the stories of Dreamers and their families. We’ll premiere the film in Washington, DC, and screen it on college campuses across the country. Their stories illustrate the urgent need for Congress to fix our broken immigration system.

The Dream is Now campaign, which is spearheaded by the Emerson Collective, an organization founded by Laurene Powell Jobs that promotes social responsibility and fairness, and Davis Guggenheim, welcomes everyone —documented and undocumented alike—to tell their stories in words, art, video or photos.

Tell us why you support immigration reform – and how it will impact you and your friends and family. Sign our petition calling for Congress to pass immigration reform that includes principles of the DREAM Act.  Ask your friends and family to do the same.  Help us spread the word through Facebook and twitter.

The time is right. The Dream is now.

Campaign stuff

Laurene Powell Jobs

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John Somebody

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We would like to thank the following partners who echo the need for sensible immigration reform

Who are DREAMers?

DREAMers are undocumented immigrant students who aspire to attend college or serve in the military. Many of them arrived in the U.S. at a young age and were raised as Americans and consider the U.S. their home. They want to contribute their considerable talents to the country they call home but are held back because of their immigration status.

What is The Dream is Now?

The Dream Is Now is an effort of concerned citizens who believe we need to fix America's broken immigration system, giving undocumented youth and their families the chance to earn their citizenship. We support common sense immigration reform that includes the principles of the DREAM Act. The campaign is spearheaded by the Emerson Collective, an organization that promotes social responsibility and fairness, and Oscar-winning filmmaker Davis Guggenheim (“Waiting for Superman” and “An Inconvenient Truth”). In April 2013, we released a compelling 30-minute documentary by Davis Guggenheim, sharing the stories of DREAMers and their families. The film premiered in Washington, DC, and has been screened in communities and on campuses across the country.

Who are you fighting for?

There are millions of undocumented young people in America – many brought here as children and raised as Americans. They’re our friends and neighbors, our valedictorians and varsity athletes. All they know is America, yet they face deportation to countries they know nothing about, with languages they may not even speak. By keeping these talented young people from contributing to our economy, our broken immigration laws are failing all of us.

What are you asking for?

We want Congress to fix America's broken immigration system, giving undocumented youth and their families the chance to earn their citizenship.

Do you support “comprehensive immigration reform?”

Yes, we support immigration reform to allow hard-working, aspiring Americans to earn their citizenship. We are highlighting the problems faced by Dreamers to broaden support for common sense immigration reform. Our goal is to ensure that Congress seizes this opportunity to reform our broken immigration system.

Won’t that cost our country money?

The cost of continued legislative inaction is enormous. It costs $23,000 to deport one person. On top of that, we stand to lose an estimated $329 billion by 2030 by denying Dreamers the chance to become taxpaying citizens and economic innovators. We can't afford to waste talent.

How can DREAMers and their families fix their immigration status and get on the path to citizenship?

Congress will have to pass a law and the President has to sign it before most DREAMers and their families get on the road to citizenship. In the past, stand-alone DREAM Acts were introduced in Congress to give undocumented students who came here at a young age the opportunity to pursue higher education or enter the military. The bipartisan immigration reform legislation passed by the Senate on June 27, 2013, includes provisions allowing Dreamers and their families to earn their citizenship.

What about DACA?

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is a program that was created by the Obama administration to protect DREAMers from deportation and to provide them with a temporary lawful status until Congress fixes the situation. DREAMers with DACA can work lawfully but this is not a permanent fix for their situation.

What are the DREAM-related provisions in the Senate bill?

Under the bipartisan Senate immigration bill, S.744, Dreamers will be able to apply for temporary lawful status (Registered Provisional Immigrant) if they meet certain requirements. Once they have satisfied higher education or military service requirements and met certain other conditions, they can apply for citizenship. These criteria are:

  1. 1. Age and Date
  • Must have entered the U.S. before the age of 16
  • Must have entered before December 31, 2011
  1. 2. Education or Military Service
  • Have graduated from a U.S. high school or obtained an equivalent degree, and at least 2 years in a program for a bachelor’s degree or higher degree in the U.S. or
  • Serve at least 4 years in the armed services and, if discharged, received an honorable discharge
  1. 3. Time in Registered Provisional Immigrant Status
  • Dreamers must be in a temporary RPI status for 5 years before they can apply for a green card (lawful permanent residency). Once a Dreamer gets a green card, they are eligible to apply for citizenship immediately
  1. 4. English and Civics Requirement
  • In order to get a green card, Dreamers must show knowledge of English and U.S. civics
  1. 5. Fees
  • Just like with DACA, Dreamers will have to pay significant fees when they apply for status. Although Dreamers will not have to pay $2000 in fines, the bill requires that the fees cover the cost to the government of running background checks and other administrative costs. These fees could pose significant hurdles for low-income students who are also paying for their education
  1. Financial Aid

Dreamers in RPI status will be eligible for federal student loans but not federal educational grants even if they qualify based on income.

What about the families of Dreamers?

The proposed bill has a longer path and additional requirements to citizenship for parents of DREAMers and other undocumented adults. Some of the key requirements of this path are:

  1. 1. Date of Entry
  • Must have entered on or before December 31, 2011
  1. 2. Penalties, Fees and Taxes
  • Applicants will likely pay $2000 in penalties plus additional fees by the time they apply for citizenship. The initial fee is $1000 but can be paid in installments over the course of six years. Applicants will have to show that they paid applicable Federal taxes before they can apply for a green card or citizenship.
  1. 3. Back of the Line
  • Adults must wait for 10 years in Registered Provisional Immigrant (RPI) status before they can apply for a green card. Once they have a green card, they must wait an additional 3 years before they can apply for citizenship.

What Else is in the Bill Approved by the Senate in June, 2013?

There are many provisions in this bill that attempt to fix our broken immigration system. Notably, tougher Border Security measures will have to be created and implemented before undocumented immigrants can apply for green cards. There is also a requirement that all employers use electronic employment verification of all employees (E-verify). In addition, there are significant changes to the family and employment based visa system. For more information, go to nilc.org for detailed summaries of S.744. Other provisions of the bill:

  1. 1. Border Security
  • Allocates $47 billion for border security
  • Requires that 38,405 border patrol agents be deployed.
  • Requires 700 miles of fencing along the Southern Border
  1. 2. Legalization & Legal Immigration
  • Undocumented immigrants may apply for a provisional legal status
  • Ineligible if convicted of a felony or other criminal activity
  • Dreamers can get Green Cards in 5 years & be eligible for immediate citizenship
  • Siblings can no longer be sponsored under the family-based visa categories
  • Merit Based Visa: Points for education, employment, length of residency, etc
  1. 3. Employment Verification
  • E-verify: an Internet-based system that compares information from an employee's Form I-p 9, Employment Eligibility Verification, to data from U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Social Security Administration records to confirm employment eligibility
  • After 5 years, all employers must use e-verify system
  1. 4. Temporary Visas
  • Raise the cap from 65K to 110K with exemptions for advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering, & mathematics. Cap can go as high as 180K
  • Requirement to recruit American workers before hiring someone with a temporary visa
  1. 5. W-Visa Program for Low-skilled Workers
  • New nonimmigrant status
  • A worker coming to work for a registered company in a registered position
  • Establishes a new agency (Bureau of Immigration & Labor Market Research)
  • Bureau will determine cap on w-visa workers
  1. 6. Agricultural Workers
  • Establishes the Agricultural Job Opportunity, Benefits, & Security Act
  • Allows current undocumented agricultural workers to obtain legal status through an Agricultural Card Program

What can people do to support your campaign?

Go on to www.thedreamisnow.org and learn more about how to call for Congress to pass immigration reform that includes principles of the DREAM Act. Ask your friends and family to do the same. Help us spread the word through Facebook and Twitter. The time is right. The time is now.

Our website welcomes everyone —documented and undocumented alike—to tell their stories in words, art, video or photos. Tell us why you support immigration reform and how it will impact you and your friends and family.