The following is a statement from Association of American Universities President Barbara R. Snyder on the 10th anniversary of President Obama’s establishment of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program:
Ten years ago today, President Obama’s creation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program helped secure a better future for American education, science, and our economy. Since its inception in 2012, this program has allowed thousands of young people – many of them students at colleges and universities across our nation, including AAU institutions – to continue to live, study, and work in the only home country they have ever known without constant fear of deportation.
America’s scientific enterprise and the economic and national security benefits that flow from it has always depended on talent from all over the world; a failure to secure the future of our own home-grown talent risks not only their livelihoods, but that of our nation.
DACA was never meant to provide a permanent solution for the millions of undocumented students who were brought to the United States as children through no fault of their own. A decade of congressional inaction, despite longstanding bipartisan support for legislation to secure DACA, leaves these students’ fate to the uncertainties of future executive and court actions. This inaction endangers not only these talented students’ futures, but all that they could contribute to the future of our country.
AAU continues to advocate for a permanent legislative solution for DACA recipients that includes a pathway to citizenship. These young people are Americans in every way but immigration status, and they deserve the certainty that will allow them to continue their lives without the constant threat of detention or deportation.
# # # # #
Founded in 1900, the Association of American Universities is composed of America’s leading research universities. AAU’s 65 research universities transform lives through education, research, and innovation.
Our member universities earn the majority of competitively awarded federal funding for research that improves public health, seeks to address national challenges, and contributes significantly to our economic strength, while educating and training tomorrow’s visionary leaders and innovators.
AAU member universities collectively help shape policy for higher education, science, and innovation; promote best practices in undergraduate and graduate education; and strengthen the contributions of leading research universities to American society.