Statement by Excelsior College President James Baldwin on the Decision to End DACA

Excelsior College President James Baldwin has issued a statement on the decision to end DACA.

I am saddened and troubled by the decision of the President of the United States to end DACA.

DACA, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, has provided some 800,000 recipients a pathway out of the shadows. These individuals were brought to the United States as minors and have grown up here. DACA represents a humanitarian effort to allow them the opportunity to live and work in the United States while deferring any government action that would result in their deportation. To qualify, the federal government subjected these individuals to background checks and required them to apply for renewal every two years.

DACA is about opportunity. The opportunity for undocumented immigrants to pursue a higher education and earn a degree. The opportunity to find meaningful work, contribute to the economic and social welfare of our communities and our country by paying taxes, and serving in the military.

DACA recipients may not be American citizens, but they embody the American spirit. They are law-abiding members of our communities. They grew up here. They were educated here. They are our neighbors. They are skilled workers. They are aspiring citizens. They are America’s “dreamers.”

Some of these dreamers may call Excelsior home. And we will continue to stand with them during this difficult time. Education is a transformative experience and we will never turn our backs on those who seek to improve their lives and take control of their future through hard work and a commitment to personal growth.

Immigrants built America. And they remain the backbone of this great nation.

As a community, we call on Congress to affirm our shared commitment to equality and opportunity by moving quickly and unconditionally to provide DACA recipients with protection and a pathway to citizenship.