Monday, October 23, 2017

Three Local University Leaders Sign Letter Supporting Dreamers

Posted By on Mon, Oct 23, 2017 at 3:29 PM

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Presidents at three of Memphis’ higher level institutions added their signatures to a letter late last week urging Congress to pass legislation that permanently protects Dreamers.

When President Donald Trump’s administration ended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in September, he gave Congress until March 2018 to create new legislation protecting young undocumented immigrants.

Christian Brothers University president, John Smarrelli Jr., Rhodes College’s Marjorie Hass, and LeMoyne-Owen College’s Dr. Andre Miller joined nearly 800 other college and university presidents and chancellors around the country in signing the letter.

It was addressed to Rep. Paul Ryan, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Sen. Mitch McConnell, and Sen. Charles Schumer and read in part, “we urge you to take the action that President Trump requested when he rescinded the DACA policy, and pass a long-term legislative fix as soon as possible to protect Dreamers, outstanding young people brought to our country as children.”

Citing recent news polls, the letter points out that 62 percent of Americans say it is “extremely or very important” for Congress to pass legislation to address the Dreamers and 69 percent support allowing Dreamers to stay in the U.S. if they arrived as a child, completed high school or served in the military, and has not been committed of a serious crime.

The letter was organized by the American Council on Education on behalf of the Protect Dreamers Higher Education Coalition. The full version can be read here.

Smarrelli said that this year’s CBU freshman class has over 60 Dreamers who “have worked tirelessly to achieve academically at the highest levels, with no guarantees for the future.”

“Our economic competitiveness relies on sensible immigration policies that welcomes new Americans and integrate them safely into our society,” he continued. “We must protect Dreamers’ access to quality higher education and we must not go backwards.”

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