Letter to President Trump Regarding Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals

Dear President-Elect Trump:

On behalf of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) and the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT), which represent the presidents and trustees of the nation’s 1,108 community colleges, we urge you to maintain the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The program is of vital importance to thousands of our institutions’ students.

DACA provides an educational and career pathway for undocumented young people, many of whom have no ties to, or even memories of, the countries from which they came. As open access institutions, community colleges serve students from all walks of life, and that diversity contributes to greater unity in the communities that we serve. It is a core part of our mission to provide opportunity to all students, and DACA helps support that mission.

By deferring any potential deportation proceedings and granting work authorization to qualified individuals, DACA brings vital members of our society out of the shadows. DACA allows students to earn money to support their college education, and in some cases, provides the basis on which students receive in-state tuition rates and other forms of student assistance.

As educators, we view DACA as an important tool for growing educational attainment and expanding our nation’s ability to compete globally. Community colleges have an essential role in this daunting challenge. We cannot afford to limit the aspirations of DACA students to continue their education and contribute to our economy and society.

We are encouraged by your recent remarks indicating that DACA-eligible individuals are not immediate priorities for immigrant enforcement actions when you take office. The sense of surety that DACA provides helps these individuals reach their full potential, benefiting them as well as the broader nation.

We look forward to working with your administration on this issue, which is so very important to America’s future.

Sincerely,

Walter G. Bumphus, Ph.D.                                 J. Noah Brown

President and CEO, AACC                                   President and CEO, ACCT