More than 100 college and university presidents from public and private schools across the United States have signed a statement urging government officials to continue and expand the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
Northeastern University President Joseph E. Aoun added his signature to the statement, which calls support for DACA “a moral imperative and a national necessity.”
DACA is an immigration policy that provides temporary relief from deportation and a two-year work permit for undocumented young people who came to the U.S. as children. Inside Higher Ed reported on Monday that “more than 700,000 young people who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children have registered with the federal government in exchange for temporary relief from the possibility of deportation and a two-year renewable work permit.”
President-elect Donald J. Trump has indicated he would end the program.
The statement from college presidents, organized by Pomona College President David Oxtoby, cites critical benefits of the program, which was launched in 2012, and the “highly positive impacts on our institutions and communities.”
The statement continues, saying “America needs talent–and these students, who have been raised and educated in the United States, are already part of our national community. They represent what is best about America, and as scholars and leaders they are essential to the future.”
In a message to the campus community last week, President Aoun wrote “let me state emphatically and unequivocally that Northeastern embraces all members of our diverse family, of every origin, background, orientation, gender, and belief.” The president called on the Northeastern community to “lead by example, and be a shining star for those who, at this moment in our history, are seeking light.”
Statement in Support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program and our Undocumented Immigrant Students
The core mission of higher education is the advancement of knowledge, people, and society. As educational leaders, we are committed to upholding free inquiry and education in our colleges and universities, and to providing the opportunity for all our students to pursue their learning and life goals.
Since the advent of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in 2012, we have seen the critical benefits of this program for our students, and the highly positive impacts on our institutions and communities. DACA beneficiaries on our campuses have been exemplary student scholars and student leaders, working across campus and in the community. With DACA, our students and alumni have been able to pursue opportunities in business, education, high tech, and the non-profit sector; they have gone to medical school, law school, and graduate schools in numerous disciplines. They are actively contributing to their local communities and economies.
To our country’s leaders we say that DACA should be upheld, continued, and expanded. We are prepared to meet with you to present our case. This is both a moral imperative and a national necessity. America needs talent – and these students, who have been raised and educated in the United States, are already part of our national community. They represent what is best about America, and as scholars and leaders they are essential to the future.
We call on our colleagues and other leaders across the business, civic, religious, and non-profit sectors to join with us in this urgent matter.
To read the full statement and see the current signatures of the college presidents who have signed the statement, visit the Pomona College site.