More than 560 college and university presidents sent a letter March 16 to President Trump in support of the “Dreamers,” a group of undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children.
These young people have temporary permission under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that was initiated in 2012 by President Obama to stay and obtain work permits, and many are enrolled at colleges and universities around the country. President Trump has made several positive statements about Dreamers, including calling them “incredible kids.”
The letter thanks the president for his remarks and asks him to continue to allow Dreamers to work and study while his administration and Congress arrive at a permanent solution.
It also notes that the higher education community is eager to work with him to find a path forward.
The Dreamers also have bipartisan support in Congress: Sens. Lindsay Graham (R-SC) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) have introduced the Bar Removal of Individuals who Dream and Grow Our Economy (BRIDGE) Act, which would allow the roughly 750,000 young immigrants currently in DACA to keep those benefits for three more years. A companion bill introduced in the House by Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO) has 17 co-sponsors, including eight Republicans.
ACE and 20 higher education associations have written to Graham and Durbin expressing support for the BRIDGE Act. However, there has been no action as of yet on either the Senate or House measures.