In the Presidents and Provosts Forum, I had the privilege to speak to college and university presidents about the work I have been doing to advance higher education and immigration policy reform through the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration.
I reflected on the past year and my experiences as I watched Hector A. Rivera Suarez ’18 — DACA recipient and then Guilford College Student Body President — reckon with his changing documentation status and the uncertainty of his future, rise beautifully to the calling to speak his truth and bravely tell his story on the steps of the United States Capitol. I also was able to take a moment to express the sincere honor and gratitude I felt to be able to stand beside him as we spoke to our North Carolina representatives in their Washington, D.C., offices.
Read more from Jane about Hector A. Rivera Suarez '18 and watch him speak on the steps of the Capitol.
There are many issues weighing on the higher-education landscape at this point in our nation’s history. I believe the relationship between our country’s institutions of higher learning and the immigrant, international and refugee populations is a paramount issue, one that — whatever road we take on it — will shape and steer the social, political and economic future of the United States. There are many misconceptions about the relationship between our international, DACA, documented, and undocumented college students and U.S. economic and social prosperity. I brought these data with me to NAFSA (along with others) to help begin to combat those myths.