Elon among universities calling for protection of DACA

More than 150 public and private colleges and universities, including Elon, signed on to an amicus brief in support of the program as the U.S. Supreme Court weighs whether the move to end the program is lawful.

Elon University is among 165 colleges and universities from across the country urging the U.S. Supreme Court to protect the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, from being ended.

Elon joined an amicus brief filed in the U.S. Supreme Court case focused on whether the Trump administration’s move to rescind the program is lawful. The program allows children of illegal immigrants to remain in the country if they were 16 years old or younger when their parents brought them to the country, provided they arrived by 2007. The country’s highest court is scheduled to hear oral arguments in the case in November.

The brief filed in support of the program argues that DACA has allowed tens of thousands of students to pursue degrees and thrive on college and university campuses, where they have made valuable contributions inside and outside the classroom. The group of colleges and universities argue that ending the program will harm the futures of these students and alumni, adversely impact those institutions that have made investments in their education, and deprive campuses of talent, diversity and leadership.

“I join with college presidents across the country in expressing continued support for the successful DACA program, which has allowed so many students to enroll in college, pursue a profession and contribute to their communities,” President Connie Ledoux Book said. “Removing DACA would deny our students, alumni and many others across the country the ability to earn their degree, continue their employment and subject them to immediate deportation. That would be a tragedy for them and a great loss for colleges and universities and, indeed, our nation.”

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Elon and Guilford College were the only institutions in North Carolina to lend their support to the brief. The brief was coordinated by the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration, which was founded in November 2017 and of which Book is a member. The group brings together college and university chancellors and presidents who are dedicated to increasing public understanding of how immigration policies and practices impact students, campuses and communities.