Editor’s note: The following statement was sent by President Joyce McConnell to the entire Colorado State University community on June 18, in response to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that blocked the Trump administration from ending protections afforded by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
Dear CSU Community,
Today the Supreme Court of the United States rendered its decision, striking down the legal challenges to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and allowing it to continue.
This is great news, not only for the CSU community, but for the nearly 650,000 individuals — the DREAMers — across the country who are enrolled in the program that allows them to stay in the country without fear of deportation, to work and to continue to pursue an education. Inside Higher Education estimates more than a third of them are attending colleges and universities nationwide.
This also is great news for our country. The Center for American Progress estimates the positive economic impact these young people will have in the coming decade will exceed $460 billion. Those are particularly welcome tidings at a time when our economy has been battered by the effects of a pandemic-triggered recession. In addition, during that pandemic some 200,000 DACA recipients have been working in jobs deemed essential by the Department of Homeland Security, including some 4,300 here in Colorado.
I am proud to be able to point our lawmakers to the unequivocal public support for immigrant families and students recently posted by Colorado’s higher education leaders. And I am also proud to share that CSU’s incredible advocates, a team of both faculty and staff, have taken the unprecedented step of convening colleagues from institutions across the state tomorrow to affirm our mutual support for our undocumented and DACA students and discuss how we can continue to support these students going forward. Both Angie Paccione from the Colorado Department of Higher Education and I will be joining this virtual convening, at which we will discuss, among other things, how we can meet our students’ needs for financial aid, health care, support networks, academic advising and career planning. Look for a SOURCE story about this convening on Monday.
In regards to the recent SCOTUS ruling, the next step, of course, is for our elected officials to pass the DREAM Act (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors), to secure them more permanent relief. And when that’s done, it’s long past time for Congress to get back to work on comprehensive immigration reform and sort out the countless, often conflicting, immigration laws and policies currently on the books.
So, while this is a day to celebrate, it also represents a first step on a much longer journey. As we move forward, I want to reiterate what I said publicly just a few weeks ago: that all our undocumented and immigrant students are and will continue to be valued members of our CSU community. You have our unwavering support as you pursue your academic endeavors and we will assure you have the services and resources you may need to realize your dreams. I am deeply committed to your success, as I am to that of every single member of this Ram family.
More support from the CSU System
The CSU System, led by our Board of Governors, has had a long-standing position in support of DACA students who have the drive and commitment to pursue higher education. These students have worked hard and excelled at our universities, and this state is often the only home they know. This is where they grew up and where they see their future. We are pleased the Supreme Court’s decision keeps the pathway of opportunity open for these students.