Washington Watch: Act now to support Dreamers

This week marks the two-year anniversary of the Trump administration’s rescinding of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. DACA, a 2012 Obama administration initiative, frees certain undocumented individuals who were brought to the country as children from the threat of deportation and allows them to work legally.

As a result of lawsuits challenging the DACA rescission, it has not taken full effect because multiple federal courts have ordered the administration to maintain the program for current recipients. However, no new applications for DACA status have been accepted since the rescission went into effect. The Supreme Court will hear one of these cases on November 12 and issue a decision sometime before its term ends in June 2020.

In response to these developments, the higher education community has drafted a college sign-on letter to congressional leaders urging them to pass bipartisan legislation to protect Dreamers. Since the DACA rescission, the House has passed a version of the Dream Act, but legislation that could pass both the House and the Senate has not emerged.

The American Association of Community Colleges urges community colleges that support this position to add their names to the list. A similar effort two years ago garnered approximately 800 sign-ons. College sign-ons (no individuals or other organizations) are due by September 13. Only individuals authorized to take such action on behalf of the institution may sign onto the letter.

Related articles: “Washington Watch: Focus is on the courts for DACA” and “Arizona Dreamers struggle after losing cheaper tuition

Previous Washington Watch articles.

About the Author

Jim Hermes
is associate vice president of government relations at the American Association of Community Colleges.