ACUI Opposes Decision to Rescind DACA
In the week since the administration’s announcement to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, hundreds of university presidents, CEOs, government officials, and ACUI leaders have spoken out against the decision. Many of you have likely helped ensure the safety of protestors, counseled affected students, and considered how you can make a difference. In doing so, we all need to use our voice and agency to support “dreamers.”
A removal of DACA protections would directly impact the work of ACUI members, and the Board of Trustees unanimously opposes this direction.
According to the Center for American Progress, about 72% of dreamers are in higher education. Several campuses in California have a “Dream Center” or undocumented students center, similar to veterans student centers or disabled student services offices. Most colleges and universities also have values and missions that emphasize global knowledge, human rights, and inclusion. We must stand up for the students and staff for whom DACA represents a chance at an education and a legal path to citizenship.
When immigration rights activist Jose Antonio Vargas keynoted ACUI’s 2013 annual conference, he said: “We dream of a path to citizenship so that we can actively participate in our American democracy. We dream of not being separated from our families and our loved ones. We dream of living a life with dignity, free of fear and shame. We do not need the right green card, the right passport, and the right social security card to be treated as human beings.”
Along with other higher education associations, ACUI has signed onto a letter sent to Congressional leaders by the American Council on Education. Removing DACA protections only serves to hurt our economy and prohibit recipients from using their talents and tenacity to contribute to our campuses and American society as a whole. Here are some ways you can help:
- Become informed about DACA so you can correct misinformation.
- Call your legislators. The Trump administration has asked Congress to address DACA in the next six months, but action could be taken in a matter of weeks. Calling is more effective than emailing.
- Find out what services your institution is offering so you can be a resource. Many campuses have created webpages detailing how the debate over DACA affects current students.
- Serve as a volunteer advocate. Many local organizations provide legal advocacy services at low or no cost. Often these organizations are looking for volunteers to serve as interpreters, fundraisers, caregivers, and trained advocates.
- Take action in ongoing marches, public assemblies, teach-ins, and when it comes time to vote.
We are a country of immigrants who for generations have come to America searching for a better life. Dreamers are no different. We hope you will join us in supporting them.