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It’s Time for Washington to Hear from College and University Trustees on DACA

It’s Time for Washington to Hear from College and University Trustees on DACA

The following is an excerpt from a Huffington Post blog post by AGB President Richard D. Legon. 

In the weeks since President Trump announced that he would rescind Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), I’ve been speaking with college and university board members around the country about DACA and the administration’s decision. In these conversations, I’ve learned that there is tremendous support for America’s Dreamers and real concern about the devastating impact that the administration’s decision could have not only on these individuals, but the public good as well.

Trustees oversee institutional policies and practices and are ultimately responsible for ensuring safe and vibrant learning environments where every member of the campus community—especially students—can thrive and achieve educational success.

Because of this—and because, under DACA, thousands of young people have enrolled in our nation’s colleges and universities—many boards are deeply concerned about the impact of rescinding DACA on their institutions and communities.

Like many trustees, I believe that enabling young people who have registered under DACA to continue offering their skills, knowledge, and investment to our communities is essential to the future of our nation. They agreed to come out of the shadows—risking arrest and deportation—to comply with the law and hopefully earn a path to citizenship. Rescinding DACA harms our communities and our nation, not simply the young people registered under this policy.

As both president of AGB and a college trustee, I’m committed to raising my voice about these important policy concerns, and have asked President Trump and congressional leaders to find a permanent legislative solution to the DACA policy. I encourage my fellow board members to join me in this call—you are the citizen-leaders of our higher education institutions. You are also business leaders, professionals, community leaders, alumni, and parents. You are in a unique position to engage with members of Congress and impact their discussion and decision about DACA. Your voice can have a powerful impact—use it to protect our nation’s Dreamers.

The week of October 16-20 has been designated “Protect Dreamers Higher Education Theme Week.” In the coming days, institutional leaders, faculty, staff, students, and a coalition of higher education associations will call on policymakers to pass a permanent solution to protect Dreamers. We encourage trustees to visit the Protect Dreamers Higher Education Coalition website for helpful information and resources—including the recent AGB Alert—and to consider adding their voices to this collective effort. 
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