June 15, 2023

AASCU Statement on the Anniversary of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program

Kellee Edmonds
(202) 478-4662

WASHINGTON, June 15, 2023 — The American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) celebrates the 11th anniversary of the creation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. We recognize the importance of June 15, 2012, and the leadership by the then-Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano in taking the courageous action to protect undocumented students who were brought to this country as children. The DACA program helps support the laudable efforts of individuals who seek an education to improve their lives and the lives of their families and communities. DACA recipients also receive work authorization allowing them to make substantial contributions to their cities, regions, and states through their work product, the consumption of good/services, and the payment of taxes.

“Even though DACA does not provide a path toward permanent lawful status, and it is required to be renewed, it has a been a lifeline to the more than 427,000 undocumented students enrolled in colleges and universities of which 180,000 are DACA-eligible,” said AASCU President Mildred García. “Many of these students are enrolled at regional comprehensive universities and are actively engaged at our member campuses and their academic communities.”

AASCU and its members continue to call on Congress to pass the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act now in its 22nd year since its introduction in 2001 by Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Dick Durbin (D-IL). The DREAM Act supports more than 2.3 million eligible individuals across the United States. At a time when a DACA regulatory structure has been put in place and the program’s challenges continue in the courts on a path toward the U.S. Supreme Court, it is past time for Congress to approve the Dream Act.


The American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) is a Washington, D.C.-based higher education association of 350 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.