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APLU Urges Congress to Protect Dreamers on One-Year Anniversary of DACA Rescission

September 5, 2018

Washington – In recognition that today marks one year since the Department of Justice announced the rescission of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, APLU President Peter McPherson sent a letter to congressional leadership to reiterate APLU’s call for swift action to protect Dreamers.

Last Friday, a Federal District Court judge in Houston declined the plaintiffs' request to stop DACA, but noted “if the nation truly wants a DACA program, it is up to Congress to say so.” The ruling follows three lawsuits in New York, California, and the District of Columbia that have blocked the Trump administration from fully ending the program. APLU’s letter notes that such court injunctions are not a permanent solution and that as Congress sets the agenda for must-pass legislation in the fall, it must prioritize a bipartisan, permanent solution for Dreamers without further delay.

The full text of the letter is below.

September 5, 2018

The Honorable Paul Ryan
Speaker
U.S. House of Representatives
1233 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515

The Honorable Mitch McConnell
Majority Leader
U.S. Senate
317 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Minority Leader
U.S. House of Representatives
233 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515

The Honorable Charles Schumer
Minority Leader
U.S. Senate
322 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Speaker Ryan and Leaders McConnell, Pelosi and Schumer:

On behalf of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU), I write today, one year since the Department of Justice announced the rescission of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, to reiterate APLU’s call for swift congressional action to protect Dreamers.

APLU is a research, policy, and advocacy organization dedicated to strengthening and advancing the work of public universities. Annually, its 194 U.S. member campuses enroll 4 million undergraduates and 1.2 million graduate students, award 1.1 million degrees, employ 1 million faculty and staff, and conduct $40.7 billion in university-based research. Many young people with DACA status are working hard in furtherance of their academic pursuits at our member institutions and making critical contributions to our country.

While DACA renewals are in place as a result of court injunctions, this is not a permanent solution. Congress must pass legislation to provide protections and safeguards for these young people, many of whom have known only the United States as home. Although Judge Hanen of the Federal District Court in Houston declined the plaintiffs' request for an injunction to stop DACA, his language in the ruling creates further impetus for congressional action: “If the nation truly wants a DACA program, it is up to Congress to say so.” It is paramount that legislators act promptly to codify DACA at long last. Doing so would stem the constant taxing uncertainty that Dreamers have shouldered and mitigate the incredible, imminent disruption that the program’s termination would have on them and their communities.

APLU remains committed to working with Congress to improve our nation’s flawed immigration system. Comprehensive policy reforms will require earnest debate and bipartisan compromise, and, as always, we stand ready to engage in and support that process. However, Congress should waste no time in passing singularly-focused legislation to protect Dreamers.

Over the past year, we have appreciated statements from leadership and others in the House and Senate who agree that Dreamers deserve a more certain future. But, only an act of Congress can guarantee them the opportunity to make further contributions to society. As you determine the fall congressional calendar and set the agenda for must-pass legislation, we urge you to prioritize a bipartisan, permanent solution for Dreamers without further delay.


Sincerely,

Peter McPherson
President
Association of Public and Land-grant Universities


 

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