Public Statement

AAC&U Responds to DACA Decision

Last week, AAC&U joined three dozen other higher education organizations as signatories to a letter urging President Trump to preserve the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and fulfill his promise to treat the Dreamers “with heart.” We are disappointed by the recent decision made by the Trump Administration to end the DACA program. AAC&U will continue to work with our member institutions to advocate for immigration policies and programs that ensure protections for the approximately 800,000 individuals who contribute greatly to the schools in which they are enrolled, the communities in which they live, and the democracy they serve.

The decision to end DACA, compounded with recent events in Charlottesville, Virginia, and tensions felt on campuses across the country, makes even more critical the role of our institutions not only in shaping the agenda for higher education, but in serving as a national voice on issues of racial and social justice.

“All of the presidents that we work with have had to address this issue on their campuses, and many are playing a leadership role in standing up for the ways in which DACA transforms lives,” said AAC&U president Lynn Pasquerella in a recent interview with The Atlantic. “We serve a diversity of perspectives, and we seek the truth. At the same time, we do have values to serve, and these are not partisan values. When we say that there are a group of young people who deserve to be protected, who deserve to live the American dream, these are human rights issues that go beyond any partisan perspective.”

AAC&U stands alongside its 1,400 members in reaffirming a deep and abiding commitment to the values of diversity, inclusion, and equity as critical to the well-being of our democratic society and as the cornerstones of excellence in liberal education.

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