Continuing Support for DREAMers Post DACA Repeal
On Tuesday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the dismantling of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The decision repeals an executive action that protected over 800,000 undocumented immigrants from deportation who came to the country as children. It also provided DREAMers the opportunity to get a driver's license and a work permit - documents essential to pursuing higher education and moving up the socioeconomic ladder.
The repeal of DACA runs counter to everything College Track stands for. We are a community of people who have the audacity to believe it is our responsibility to ensure our students can and will dream about a better future for themselves, their families, and our nation. When access to education is restricted because of where a child was born, we begin to lose our grip on the ideal of the American Dream.
I know you join us in standing in solidarity with our DREAMer students and staff during these turbulent times, as we have done since our founding days in East Palo Alto. This is not the first legislative obstacle that's obstructed that journey, but the DREAMers I know are no stranger to persisting in the face of adversity. We will continue to support undocumented students not only because it is the right thing to do, but because this country is missing out on an enormous talent pool. According to Emerson Collective, ending DACA is projected to cost $460.3 billion in GDP and nearly $25 billion in Social Security and Medicare tax contributions. We've seen the incredible impact and commitment firsthand from our own DACA alumni working in the world and from College Track staff who are themselves DREAMers.
As the fate of DACA shifts, I am cautiously hopeful. There is a possibility that enough Senators have shown their support for DREAMers to sway the vote. This might be the best chance that the DREAM Act has had since it was first introduced. With momentum also building in Congress to provide protection for DREAMers, we will continue to partner with advocacy organizations to strengthen our voice.
Thank you for your continued belief in our students.
Elissa Salas, CEO