Congresswoman Nikema Williams and Congressman Ruben Gallego Introduce Legislation to Increase Higher Education Access for Dreamers

Mar 23, 2023

WASHINGTON Today, Congresswoman Nikema Williams (GA-05) and Congressman Ruben Gallego (AZ-03) reintroduced the Higher Education Dream Act, legislation to remove barriers preventing Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients—otherwise known as Dreamers—from higher education institutions and federal financial aid.

Congresswoman Nikema Williams (GA-05) said: 

“Dreamers are our neighbors, colleagues, and classmates and they strengthen our country. I am committed to doing all I can for Dreamers, including unlocking higher education, so they can achieve the promise of America. Introducing the Higher Education Dream Act with Congressman Gallego will help Dreamers access and afford higher education.”

Congressman Ruben Gallego (AZ-03) said:

“If we want to keep the American dream alive, we need to make sure anyone—regardless of immigration status—has the opportunity to get the education they deserve. Just a few short months ago Arizonans made clear at the ballot box that Dreamers should have the same educational opportunities as other Arizona students. I’m looking to build on that momentum here in Congress, and that’s why I’m proud to lead the Higher Education Dream Act once again.

The late Congressman John Lewis originally introduced similar legislation in 2019. Congresswoman Williams re-introduced the bill with Congressman Gallego in 2021. 

In 1982, the Supreme Court decided in Plyler v. Doe to allow undocumented students to attend public elementary and secondary schools but remained silent on the question of higher education. As a result, there are a patchwork of policies that vary state-by-state, which create a series of hurdles for Dreamers to access higher education. The legislation provides clear standards and hope for those seeking to realize the American dream.

Original co-sponsors of the legislation include Reps. Greg Stanton (AZ-04), Adriano Espaillat (NY-13), Darren Soto (FL-09), Nanette Barragán (CA-44), and Sylvia Garcia (TX-29).


Congresswoman Nikema Williams proudly serves Georgia’s Fifth Congressional District on the exclusive Financial Services Committee. She is a champion of voting rights and builds on the Fifth District’s legacy as the cradle of the civil rights movement as co-Chair of the Congressional Voting Rights Caucus. Congresswoman Williams is committed to closing the racial wealth gap and ensuring the promise of America for all–regardless of your ZIP code or bank account.


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