SUNY New Paltz President Donald P. Christian is among the more than 500 signatories to a “Statement in Support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program and our Undocumented Immigrant Students,” calling for the continuation and expansion of the DACA program, under which more than 700,000 young people who were brought to the U.S. illegally have been granted temporary relief from the possibility of deportation.
The statement describes the benefits the DACA program has imparted to individual students and to the broader community of higher education institutions, since its adoption in 2012.
“To our country’s leaders we say that DACA should be upheld, continued, and expanded,” the statement reads. “We are prepared to meet with you to present our case. This is both a moral imperative and a national necessity. America needs talent – and these students, who have been raised and educated in the United States, are already part of our national community. They represent what is best about America, and as scholars and leaders they are essential to the future.”
While the statement does not call on any policy maker by name, it follows closely on the election of Donald Trump to the U.S. Presidency. President-elect Trump said during his campaign that he would end the DACA program if elected.
In a letter notifying the campus community of his decision to sign on to the statement, President Christian and Provost Lorin Basden Arnold articulated the College’s “commitment to creating a diverse, pluralistic learning environment that provides educational opportunity for all students, irrespective of national origin.”
Those interested in learning more about the higher education response to national discourse on the DACA program may wish to read “In Defense of DACA,” by Elizabeth Redden, which can be accessed on the Inside Higher Ed website.