Washington’s community college leaders have joined the presidents of hundreds of other colleges and universities in urging President-elect Trump to allow undocumented young people who are part of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program to stay in the country.
Leaders of Washington’s community college system are the latest college executives to send a message to President-elect Donald Trump urging him to preserve an executive action that allows many undocumented young people to stay in the United States without fear of being deported.
The letter asking Trump to preserve DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, was signed by the nine members of the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges, along with the 37 presidents and chancellors of the state’s community and technical colleges.
“These students work hard to better their lives and that of their families,” said State Board member Phyllis Gutierrez-Kenney in a statement. “They are among the brightest and most dedicated students we have. We want to be sure they receive the quality education they deserve.”
In the letter, the leaders wrote that many DACA students, who were brought to this country as minors, “do not remember their homeland, have never returned and may never have used the language of their parents’ home country. Some are student body presidents and leaders in our colleges. Many are the best students in their class.”
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The letter emphasizes that Washington has made a significant investment in these students’ educations. “There is no return on investment if we prevent them from entering or staying in our workforce,” the letter says.
The community colleges join a long list of university and college leaders who are urging Trump to preserve the DACA program. To date, the presidents and chancellors of 544 colleges and universities have signed onto a letter asking Trump to retain DACA.
The list includes University of Washington President Ana Mari Cauce, Washington State University President Kirk Schulz, Western Washington University President Sabah Randhawa, Central Washington President James Gaudino, the chancellors of the branch campuses of UW and WSU, and leaders at many Washington private colleges and universities, including Seattle University President Stephen Sundborg and Seattle Pacific University President Daniel Martin.