North Shore Community College President Patricia A. Gentile today became one of the first community college presidents nationwide to join fellow public and private college and university presidents in committing to continue serving Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) students.
Gentile stated, “North Shore Community College serves many immigrant and first generation to college students from immigrant families. DACA provides the supports needed for these Americans to obtain the credentials to become productive members of our workforce and society, adding great value to our economy and communities.”
The initiative, being led by Pomona College California President David Oxtoby, notes “The core mission of higher education is the advancement of knowledge, people, and society. As educational leaders, we are committed to upholding free inquiry and education in our colleges and universities, and to providing the opportunity for all our students to pursue their learning and life goals.”
Under DACA more than 700,000 young people who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children have registered with the federal government in exchange for temporary relief from the possibility of deportation and a two-year renewable work permit. President-elect Donald J. Trump has said he will end the DACA program, which was authorized by President Obama by executive action.
The commitment statement continues, “Since the advent of DACA in 2012, we have seen the critical benefits of this program for our students, and the highly positive impacts on our institutions and communities. DACA beneficiaries on our campuses have been exemplary student scholars and student leaders, working across campus and in the community. With DACA, our students and alumni have been able to pursue opportunities in business, education, high tech, and the non-profit sector; they have gone to medical school, law school, and graduate schools in numerous disciplines. They are actively contributing to their local communities and economies.”
Further, “To our country’s leaders we say that DACA should be upheld, continued, and expanded. 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. They represent what is best about America, and as scholars and leaders they are essential to the future. We call on our colleagues and other leaders across the business, civic, religious, and non-profit sectors to join with us in this urgent matter.”
As of Nov. 21 at 6:30 a.m. PST, over 100 college and university presidents from public and private institutions across the U.S. had signed the statement and offered to meet with U.S. leaders on the issue.
The full text of the statement and the list of the presidents who signed as of Sunday night may be found here.