Northern Essex Community College last week joined 168 colleges and universities nationwide by asking a federal court to reinstate Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, DACA for short, to benefit those known as “Dreamers.”
The action continues college efforts, first reported by WHAV in 2017, to oppose then-President Donald Trump’s end of a program helping children of immigrants who stayed in the U.S. At the time, Northern Essex Community College President Lane A. Glenn joined the presidents of the other 14 state community colleges and Boston Public Schools in writing in support of “Dreamers,” who had been protected from deportation by the Obama-era DACA.
The latest “friend of the court” brief, filed in connection with Texas v. United States, a fifth Circuit Court of Appeals case. The brief was coordinated by the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration, of which Northern Essex is a founding member, and TheDream.US. The filing highlights what signers called the “enormous and positive impact” DACA recipients have had “on their employers, their families and the U.S. economy as a whole.”
“Immigration has been an essential part of higher education in America since long before we were a nation. And immigration continues to contribute to higher education in vital ways today,” said Glenn in a statement.
If DACA is rescinded, recipients will lose their ability to work and study legally, be forced from their jobs and be subject to immediate deportation.
The brief notes dreamers graduating from college match or outperform their peers on key metrics and make significant contributions to the most important economic sectors; DACA recipients achieve social mobility and support their children and, in many cases, their parents and other family members; and the program’s end would be “a blow to higher-education institutions of all types as well as their students and graduates.”
Glenn points out that while the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services cannot accept new applications for DACA status until the Fifth Circuit case is settled, he advises anyone with less than one year remaining of an existing DACA status to consider renewing their application immediately.
Last September, U.S. District Court Judge Andrew Hanen found a Biden Administration rule issued in 2022 that formalized DACA was unlawful. The appeal seeks to overturn that ruling.