Groups take steps this month urging Congress to act to protect Dreamers.

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In light of recent headlines that have divided the nation, many university leaders and student groups are speaking out on their commitments uniting people of all religions, races and cultural backgrounds, including young, undocumented immigrants known as Dreamers.

Through the American Council on Education, a dozen leading higher education associations have formed the Protect Dreamers Higher Education Coalition. They are taking a number of steps individually and collectively this month urging Congress to act to protect Dreamers.

In addition, a “Statement in Support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program and our Undocumented Immigrant Students” bears signatures of more than 700 university and college presidents and chancellors nationwide.

Seattle University President Stephen Sundborg, S.J., is among those who have signed the statement. He has often spoken in support of Dreamers.

“Seattle University is a welcoming and inclusive institution and campus community,” says Father Sundborg. “We stand with Dreamers and … we will continue to support and advocate on behalf of our students and alumni who are Dreamers.”

Colleges and universities are working to integrate this support into opportunities to bring the entire campus community together. At Seattle University, for example, the Student Center and Pigott Pavilion for Leadership house student groups and programs that include the International Student Center, student government, Office of Multicultural Affairs, Campus Ministry, Career Services, Counseling and Psychological Services and more than 85 social and service clubs.

Last year, Seattle University created a resource page for undocumented students. This website outlines university policies, admissions procedures and frequently asked questions that pertain to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals students. Additionally, there are links to other resources including the American Civil Liberties Union, United We Dream, the Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs and dozens of other nonprofits that support Dreamers.

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