To the Campus Community:
The Trump Administration announced plans this morning to “wind down” the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”) federal immigration policy, which has allowed certain undocumented immigrants to the U.S. who entered the country as minors to apply for deferred action and eligibility for a work permit and international travel. Many of these “Dreamers” are furthering their education, including approximately a dozen at TCNJ. I write to reiterate my support for these students and for a solution that would allow them to stay in this country legally.
Congress is likely to take up this issue in the near future. I strongly endorse The American Council on Education (ACE) and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) statements in calling on the Senate and House of Representatives to take immediate action. (http://www.aascu.org/Statement/DACATermination/ , http://www.acenet.edu/news-room/Pages/Statement-by-ACE-President-Ted-Mitchell-on-the-Trump-Administrations-Reported-Decision-to-End-DACA.aspx )
This is a continuation of my advocacy on this issue that began last fall. As I mentioned in my January 30 message to the campus addressing immigration issues, in November I had co-signed a statement of support for DACA authored by then-President Oxtoby of Pomona College. In the past year, I have signed a letter to the Department of Homeland Security from the American Council on Education (ACE) and endorsed statements from AASCU and the New Jersey Association of State Colleges and Universities.
The college has also been in communication with both New Jersey U.S. Senators and our congresswoman to express our support of DACA and share our concerns about the earlier executive orders on immigration. Please know that I and the college will continue to advocate with our delegation. We will continue to work closely with our national organizations for a successful legislative remedy to protect TCNJ students and others who are DACA “Dreamers.” I encourage those with an opinion on this issue to make their voices heard by reaching out to their elected representatives.
At TCNJ, we value the unique worth of each member of our community and understand that this diversity makes us stronger. Through this debate, let us reaffirm our commitment to our vision to educate a “vibrant, collaborative, and inclusive community of learners.”
R. Barbara Gitenstein