Adler University this week signed a letter urging Congress to approve bipartisan legislation to protect students pursuing degrees through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
In it, supporters beseech federal lawmakers to enact a legislative solution that would enable eligible undocumented college and university students — commonly known as “Dreamers” — to not only continue their studies, but pursue citizenship prior to DACA’s March 5, 2018 expiration date.
“There is widespread support among your constituents and across the country on the need to protect these individuals,” states the letter, which is addressed to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Speaker Paul Ryan, Senate Minority Leader Charles “Chuck” Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
The American Council on Education spearheaded the rallying effort on behalf of the Protect Dreamers Higher Education Coalition, a group comprised of a broad range of the nation’s higher ed institutions and groups. The organizations garnered notarized support this week from more than 800 schools across the U.S., including Adler University.
“Colleges and universities have seen these remarkable people up close, in our classrooms and as our colleagues and friends,” the letter says. “Despite the challenges they face, they have made incredible contributions to our country and its economy and security. They should continue to be able to do so. If we are unable to protect these Dreamers, we will be shutting the door to an entire generation of individuals who seek to contribute their best to America.”
DACA is presidential discretionary item that allows Dreamers to remain within U.S. borders if they meet certain criteria, including the pursuit of and enrollment in college educational programs. Created by former President Barack Obama, the program has allowed more than 800,000 Dreamers to obtain work permits and temporary protection from the risk of deportation.
Read the full ACE letter for additional information.