Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

College Leaders Urge Protection of Undocumented Students

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

College Leaders Urge Protection of Undocumented Students

Article excerpt

More than 250 college and university presidents nationally and in Pennsylvania have signed a statement hoping to save a program that has enabled children brought to the U.S. illegally to avoid deportation while pursuing work and education.

The potential fate of those undocumented immigrant students has roiled campuses where fears are running high that President-elect Donald Trump, who campaigned on deporting illegal immigrants, will undo the 4-year-old Obama administration initiative once he takes office in January.

The Pennsylvania signers include Penn State University president Eric Barron, University of Pittsburgh chancellor Patrick Gallagher, Carnegie Mellon University president Subra Suresh, University of Pennsylvania president Amy Gutmann, Temple University president Richard Englert, Allegheny College president Richard Mullen, and Dickinson College president Neil Weissman.

Campus leaders say the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program has produced "exemplary student scholars and student leaders" who have benefited the institutions and the communities where they live.

Signers of the statement say the students have pursued instruction and work in areas from education and high-tech to law and medicine.

"They are actively contributing to their local communities and economies," the statement says.

"To our country's leaders we say that DACA should be upheld, continued and expanded," the statement continued. "We are prepared to meet with you to present our case. This is both a moral imperative and a national necessity.

"America needs talent -and these students, who have been raised and educated in the United States, are already part of our national community," the letter added. "They represent what is best about America, and as scholars and leaders they are essential to the future."

The presidents called on their colleagues as well as business, civic, religious and nonprofit sectors to add their voices to those trying to preserve and expand DACA. …

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