Amid ongoing uncertainty and what may feel like legal whiplash, supporting DACA students is as important as ever.
More than 160 NACAC members traveled to Capitol Hill this morning to meet with members of Congress.
The visits are part of the association’s annual advocacy meeting, which brings together members from both sides of the desk to advocate on behalf of students.
In a statement released earlier this week, NACAC voiced opposition to President Trump’s budget proposal, noting that the plan “stortchanged” students at all levels.
The proposal cuts funding for the Department of Education by 10.5 percent in fiscal year 2019 and abolishes several critical programs that help make college more affordable.
In a statement released Friday, NACAC urged Congress and the White House “to find common ground and move forward with policies that support DREAMers and promote student mobility across borders.”
Talks are expected to continue this week as policymakers from both sides of the aisle unpack the president’s immigration plan and craft their own proposals.
DACA recipients will lose protection from deportation in March. And although lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have voiced support for the DREAM Act, disagreements over border security and other issues have stalled legislative action.
Yet despite current conditions, college counselors and admission officers are uniquely positioned to offer support and hope to young immigrants, author/activist Julissa Arce noted during a Tuesday #NACACreads chat.
Congress has signaled it’s ready to tackle reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA), but a bill introduced last week in the US House of Representatives has NACAC and other education organizations concerned.
“While NACAC agrees that the HEA needs to be reauthorized, this bill goes about it in the wrong way,” Michael Rose, NACAC’s director for government relations noted in a press release. “After an initial review, it is clear this bill reduces or eliminates student protections against fraud and abuse, and further dilutes the federal contribution to improving access to postsecondary education.”
In 2001, Julissa Arce was one of those students.
“I graduated in the top 5 percent of my class,” she wrote in her memoir, My (Underground) American Dream. “I was all smiles. My whole family was proud of me. And all of us were worried.”
Join us Jan. 9 for a #NACACreads discussion of Arce’s book and the challenges undocumented students face as they make their way to and through higher education. Arce will participate in the hour-long Twitter chat, which kicks off at 9 p.m. ET.
Campus leaders who want to support undocumented students have a new place to turn for information.
The coalition is encouraging colleges and universities to recognize Oct. 16-20 as Protect Dreamers Week. New resources created to help educators and others advocate on behalf of DREAMers include a fact sheet and talking points.
President Trump announced this week that the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program will end in six months.
Since 2012, DACA has provided deportation relief to undocumented youth who came to the country before the age of 16, as long as they met certain criteria.
NACAC was among several education organizations to speak out against Trump’s decision. In a statement released on Tuesday, the association said the move to eliminate DACA was a “regressive step that hurts many of America’s brightest, most vulnerable youth.”
NACAC expressed its strong support today for the reintroduction of the DREAM Act, which would provide certain undocumented students the opportunity to become lawful permanent residents and eventually apply for citizenship.
The DREAM Act, first proposed in the early 2000s and reintroduced this afternoon by Senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC) and Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL), would also allow states to grant in-state tuition to DREAMers — making a college degree more affordable for thousands of students.