Dear Speaker Ryan, Leader Pelosi, Leader McConnell and Leader Schumer:
We write to you as leaders of a newly formed, non-partisan alliance of over 200 college and university presidents from across the nation who have come together because we are concerned about how changes in our nation’s immigration policies and practices impact our students and campuses and the communities and states we serve.
On behalf of the Presidents’ Alliance, we urge you to come together to pass bipartisan legislation to protect the young immigrants known as Dreamers from deportation as soon as possible before January 19, 2018. Legislation is urgently needed as a result of the Administration’s decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”) program on September 5, 2017 with severe impacts after March 5, 2018.
We know Dreamers as our students and alumni, friends and family, neighbors and coworkers, and they are Americans in every respect but one. The vast majority of Americans support protecting Dreamers, including providing them a pathway to citizenship. Dreamers are bright, hardworking, entrepreneurial young people whose contributions are already strengthening our country through their work as teachers, nurses, doctors, business owners and service members in our nation’s military. Our nation would be poorer for their loss.
Today we call on you to pass bipartisan legislation that provides a narrowly tailored solution to address the urgent problem created by the rescission of DACA. Changes to immigration laws that more properly belong in a comprehensive immigration reform measure deserve more thoughtful deliberation, consideration and negotiation than are feasible in the rapidly closing window of time available to address this problem.
As leaders of institutions that play a vital role in unleashing human potential, strengthening and enriching local communities, and securing our nation’s well-being and prosperity, we take seriously our responsibility to address public policy issues that are inconsistent with our purposes and values as educational institutions, our commitment to our students, and our nation’s heritage as a land of opportunity for those who come to this country in search of a better life for themselves and their children.
We believe there is a moral imperative for you to come together to solve this problem now, by passing bipartisan legislation as soon as possible to protect Dreamers from deportation and allow them to serve our country as students, workers, and members of our military.