Efforts to Defend Undocumented Students

November 23, 2016

An open letter to President-elect Donald J. Trump from higher education professionals -- faculty, staff and administrators -- calls for the continuation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, under which more than 700,000 young people who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children have obtained temporary protection from deportation and two-year renewable work permits. Trump pledged to end the DACA program during the campaign, prompting anxiety and fears among students who benefited from the program and among higher educational professionals concerned for their students' futures.

“As higher education professionals, it is our livelihood to educate and cultivate the talent of students so that they can make significant contributions to our economy and society,” states the letter, which had garnered more than 500 signatures as of Tuesday evening. “It pains us to think of denying the possibility of employment and exposing to deportation some of the students who sit in our classrooms, who play on our sports teams, who lead our student governments and who are siblings, classmates, friends, co-workers, boyfriends/girlfriends to millions of U.S. citizens.”

The letter-writing effort is being organized by Herbert A. Medina, a professor of mathematics and associate dean at Loyola Marymount University.

Meanwhile, more than 200 college and university presidents have signed a separate statement calling for the continuation and expansion of the DACA program. As of Tuesday evening, 250 college presidents had signed the petition, which is being organized by Pomona College President David Oxtoby.

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