Barnard College announced today that Interim President and COO Rob Goldberg has co-signed a new letter written by the American Council on Education (ACE) in support of DACA students. The letter, which was signed by leaders from 560 colleges and universities, petitions the Trump administration to act in support of the estimated 750,000 students who arrived in the United States as children and received temporary permission -- through the bipartisan DREAM Act of 2001 and the Obama administration's DACA policy implemented in 2012 -- to stay in the U.S. as students and workers.
The full text of the letter is below.
President Donald J. Trump
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
Dear President Trump:
Thank you for the positive comments you have made on several occasions about “Dreamers,” a group of outstanding young people you recently referred to as “incredible kids.” We agree with you. Brought as children to our country and since granted temporary permission to stay and obtain work permits, they contribute to our great nation every day. We are ready to work with you to ensure that they can continue to do so.
University of North Carolina President Margaret Spellings, a former secretary of education under President George W. Bush, echoed your views in a recent op-ed in The Washington Post, saying:
“These young people...have grown up American—studying and learning in our public schools, celebrating our national holidays, becoming a part of our communities. They’ve made a lifetime of friends and memories here. This is the only home most of them can remember. These are our children, raised in our cities and towns and taught in our public schools. They share our hopes and dreams for a better America. Their faith in this country is a blessing, if we have the grace to accept it.”
Similarly, The Wall Street Journal editorial board wrote that repealing the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which enables them to work and study here, “would harm innocent men and women.” The Journal stated, and we concur, that providing Dreamers a reprieve from deportation while Congress works to codify the policy would convey a “message of inclusion and largeness of presidential spirit.”
At present, more than 750,000 individuals are registered under the program, many of whom are enrolled in college. These young people consider themselves Americans, just like their classmates and friends, and in most ways they are. To qualify, applicants must pass a rigorous, multi-faceted test. They must have arrived in the U.S. before reaching age 16, resided here continuously since 2012, be enrolled in or completed high school, not been convicted of a crime, and not present a threat to national security or public safety.
These bright and talented young people are working, are studying at colleges and universities, or have enlisted in the armed services. Because they now have work permits, they are making immediate contributions to our society and our economy. They are paying taxes, receiving driver’s licenses, and buying cars and first homes, all of which generates revenue for federal, state, and local governments. They are ineligible for federal means-tested welfare benefits, Pell Grants, and federal student loans, as well as health care tax subsidies.
According to a recent study by the CATO Institute, deporting the approximately 750,000 people registered in the program would cost over $60 billion in lost tax revenue and result in a $280 billion reduction in economic growth over the next decade.
Unfortunately, many of these young people now live in fear that the program will be rolled back or revoked. In order to lift this cloud of fear, we ask that you commit to allowing these productive and high-achieving individuals to continue to work and study while your administration and Congress arrive at a permanent solution. The higher education community is eager to work with you to find a path forward.