Guilford College President Jane K. Fernandes has joined more than 200 college and university presidents across the U.S. in signing a statement offering to meet with U.S. leaders in support of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
The statement reads as follows:
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.
According to Insider Higher Ed, under DACA, “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 Trump has said he will end the program.
The college and university presidents also urge leaders in business, civic, religions and nonprofit sectors to join them in supporting DACA and undocumented immigrant students.