WASHINGTON, June 15, 2022 –The American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) commemorates the 10th anniversary of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The association also celebrates the wisdom, compassion, and leadership demonstrated by former President Barak Obama and his administration in establishing this critical program intended to support and protect millions of undocumented immigrants who were brought to this country as children.
“We recognize the value DACA, which shields eligible individuals from deportation and provides them with work authorization, has had for the more than 650,000 courageous individuals who adhere to the requirements of the program and the significant impact it continues to have on their families, their communities and many of our social institutions including the nearly 400 public regional comprehensive colleges and universities,” said AASCU President Mildred García. “These students enter many of our AASCU institutions, graduate and become involved individuals who pay taxes, become professionals in their field, and are engaged within their communities,” she added.
AASCU and its members welcome the establishment of the first-ever federal regulations for the DACA program. In 2021 the Department of Homeland Security issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. AASCU joined a unified higher education community response to the call for comments. When issued, the new regulatory framework should and must further strengthen the reach and impact of the program and we hope that it will again begin to accept new registrants as soon as possible.
AASCU continues to call on Congress to pass the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act now in its 21st year since it was first introduced in 2001 by Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Dick Durbin (D-IL). The DREAM Act would support more than 3.6 million eligible individuals across the United States. The DACA program is a bridge until the DREAM Act is enacted. “Whether its 21 years or 10, we have waited long enough,” Garcia added. “It is time to fully support all who seek the American dream in every sense of the term.”
The American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) is a Washington, D.C.-based higher education association of nearly 400 public colleges, universities, and systems whose members share a learning- and teaching-centered culture, a historic commitment to underserved student populations, and a dedication to research and creativity that advances their regions’ economic progress and cultural development. These are institutions Delivering America’s Promise. Visit us at www.aascu.org.