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Statement from Wallace D. Loh on DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) Program - September 5, 2017

September 5, 2017

Attributed to University of Maryland President, Wallace D. Loh:

The Trump Administration's decision today rescinded the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program and called on Congress to replace the 2012 executive order with legislation before it expires on March 5, 2017.

This decision is antithetical to the core values and missions of the University of Maryland and higher education generally. It penalizes law-abiding students who came to this country as infants or children and want to be contributing members of our society by studying, working, or serving in the military. Ending legal protection for these young people, before enacting a permanent legislative solution, would cause turmoil in their lives and contradicts our bedrock values as an immigrant nation.

Last fall, I stated UMD's unwavering support for the approximately 100 DACA students on campus. UMD will continue to identify all avenues available for offering support to them as we examine the impact of today's announcement. We will post further information at undocumented.umd.edu. Students may call the Office of Student Affairs, 301-314-8428, for information about available resources.

Congress now has six months to enact legislation for the approximately 800,000 "Dreamers." UMD has been working, and will continue to work, with our Congressional delegation. I believe there is strong support within our delegation.

Together with scores of other member institutions of higher education associations, UMD has also lobbied members of Congress for the DREAM Act (S.1615) that would provide permanent residence to those who meet the criteria of the BRIDGE Act (S.128). At a minimum, we urge Congress to make DACA provisions into statute.

For most of the young adults and students in the DACA program, this is the only country they have ever known. They deserve a legal status that recognizes their contributions to our country and safeguards them from the continuing uncertainty about their future. It is in our interest as a democracy that we call on Congress to act, swiftly and with compassion.

Our nation flourishes and is strengthened because of our diversity and our commitment to the freedoms that unite us.

We are in this together. We are all Dreamers.