The associations representing community college presidents and trustees are encouraging President-elect Donald Trump to allow certain undocumented immigrants to retain eligibility to enroll in U.S. colleges.
“We urge you to maintain the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The program is of vital importance to thousands of our institutions’ students,” the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) and the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) wrote in a Jan. 6 letter to Trump.
DACA provides an educational and career pathway for undocumented young people, many of whom came to the U.S. as children and have grown up in this country, the associations said.
“As open access institutions, community colleges serve students from all walks of life, and that diversity contributes to greater unity in the communities that we serve. It is a core part of our mission to provide opportunity to all students, and DACA helps support that mission,” the letter said. “By deferring any potential deportation proceedings and granting work authorization to qualified individuals, DACA brings vital members of our society out of the shadows. DACA allows students to earn money to support their college education, and in some cases, provides the basis on which students receive in state tuition rates and other forms of student assistance.”
AACC and ACCT also noted the importance of education to U.S. residents in helping the country stay economically competitive.
“Community colleges have an essential role in this daunting challenge. We cannot afford to limit the aspirations of DACA students to continue their education and contribute to our economy and society,” they wrote.