More than 70 member institutions of the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration have signed onto an amicus brief filed yesterday supporting plaintiffs who are challenging the Trump Administration’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (“DACA”) program.
This “friend of the court” brief presents evidence of the vital role that the DACA program plays at the institutions and beyond, enabling thousands of previously undocumented students to successfully pursue a college degree while contributing significantly to their campuses, communities, and the nation. The brief also points to the serious harm that would be caused to American colleges and universities and to the nation more broadly if DACA were ended. Representing institutions of higher education, the law firm Jenner & Block prepared and filed the amicus brief for the case of Batalla Vidal v. Trump in the Second Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals. The brief states that DACA students “form a key part of our campus life and as institutions we benefit greatly from the energy and academic excellence they bring.” And, that rescinding DACA not only harms the many remarkable young people, but “critically, it will also harm the country, which will be deprived of the many contributions Dreamers would otherwise be able to make.”
“This is our talent pool of the future,” said Rutgers-Newark Chancellor Nancy Cantor, a founding member of the Presidents’ Alliance and co-chair of its steering committee. “Dreamers are a critical part of the diversity that will define the prosperity of our knowledge economy in the decades ahead, just as diversity has always given life and strength to our communities over centuries and embodied our country’s founding democratic principle of E pluribus unum—out of many, one. Every American needs Dreamers in our colleges and universities. They are our future innovators, entrepreneurs, civic leaders, and artists, just like the previous generations of immigrants who came to our shores from other places to contribute to our prosperity and the vibrancy of our democracy.”
The college and university signatories represent the broad coalition of institutions whose leaders are members of the Presidents’ Alliance. Located in communities spanning the political spectrum and ranging from urban centers to rural farm areas, collectively they teach and employ millions of people, and include large public universities, private research universities, small liberal arts colleges, and expansive community colleges.