Warren Wilson College president calls for DACA to be “upheld, continued and expanded”

December 12, 2016

Solnick joins 550 college and university leaders by signing statement of support

Warren Wilson College President Steven L. Solnick and 550 college and university presidents across the country are calling for DACA to be “upheld, continued and expanded.” Photo: Chris Polydoroff
Warren Wilson College President Steven L. Solnick and 550 college and university presidents across the country are calling for DACA to be “upheld, continued and expanded.” Photo: Chris Polydoroff

President Steven L. Solnick has signed the “Statement in Support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program and our Undocumented Immigrant Students.” The open letter, which is signed by more than 550 college and university presidents, notes the “critical benefits of this program for our students, and the highly positive impacts on our institutions and communities.”

DACA secures deferred “removal action” for certain undocumented immigrants “who came to the United States as children and meet several guidelines,” according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. As of June 30, 2016, the agency reports 844,931 people have submitted initial DACA requests, and 741,546 have been approved – allowing broader access to colleges and, in many cases, financial aid, according to a June report from CNN.

“I have witnessed DACA’s impact on students and the important role it plays for their families here and across the country,” said Solnick. “It’s imperative for educational leaders to discuss this issue openly in hopes that it may continue to assist students who are valued members of our campus community.”

Addressed to unnamed U.S. leaders, the statement calls for DACA to be “upheld, continued and expanded.” A meeting with U.S. leaders is also requested, which will allow signees to present the case for DACA.

U.S. immigration policy has been a topic of conversation throughout the 2016 presidential campaign. In reference to DACA during an August 2015 interview with “Meet the Press,” President-elect Donald Trump said, “We have to make a whole new set of standards. And when people come in, they have to come in legally.”

In addition to college and university presidents, 14 mayors have signed a letter asking Trump to “continue DACA.” On Friday, a bipartisan effort in the U.S. Senate known as the “Bridge Act,” was introduced and “would effectively maintain the protections” of DACA, according to the Huffington Post. Time magazine reported Wednesday that Trump “made clear he would like to find some future accommodation for” the people DACA is designed to assist.

To read the entire statement, which was launched by Pomona College, please visit https://www.pomona.edu/news/2016/11/21-college-university-presidents-call-us-uphold-and-continue-daca.