[WSMDiscuss] The US in movement… : US universities taking positions on DACA face political, financial risks by vowing to protect DACA recipients (Simona Chiose, Globe and Mail)
jai.sen at cacim.net
Mon Sep 11 19:36:19 CEST 2017
Monday, September 11, 2017
The US in movement…
[The battle has been joined and the heat is continuing to build, even as the storm in the US continues to wreak its havoc… :
US universities taking positions on DACA face political, financial risks by vowing to protect DACA recipients
Simona Chiose, Globe and Mail
U.S. universities face political, financial risks by vowing to protect DACA recipients
Open this photo in gallery: <https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/resizer/N_S9IsMW-2nO6yeYg6Pv0zKdNm8=/480x0/arc-anglerfish-tgam-prod-tgam.s3.amazonaws.com/public/ZOHAZI7ZMNFRFGBOTVYETSZW3I.JPG>
Demonstrators chant during a protest against the Trump administration's decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, outside of the White House in Washington, on Sept. 9, 2017.
Simona Chiose <https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/authors/simona-chiose-author>
22 hours ago September 10, 2017
Mere hours after U.S. Attorney-General Jeff Sessions announced on Tuesday that the government would end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, universities and colleges across the United States mobilized.
Within a day, hundreds of higher-education leaders, from the Ivy League to community colleges and advocacy groups, released statements vowing to protect affected students on their campuses and urging Congress to pass new legislation before DACA is set to expire in March.
Estimates of the number of DACA recipients who are enrolled in higher education in the U.S. range from 160,000 to more than double that amount, once part-time students are counted. Many could drop out if Congress is unable to agree on legislation to replace the measure. Apart from the financial impact, universities say they have a clear moral responsibility to stand up for students who have overcome the odds to attend.
"This is a heartbreaking day for our country," wrote Amy Gutmann, the president of the University of Pennsylvania. "President Trump's decision to repeal the DACA program threatens hundreds of thousands of young people who were raised in America, love this country and are an integral part of the American Dream," she wrote, in a statement typical of the response of Ivy League leaders.
But for some universities, political organizing carries political and financial risks. Universities began battling with Donald Trump and his most ardent supporters shortly after his inauguration. From fighting the immigration ban, to playing host to increasingly violent clashes between activists of different political stripes, including far-right and anti-fascist demonstrators, postsecondary institutions have found themselves at the centre of partisan battles.
Immigration has been one of the most public conflicts. In Georgia, Indiana, Texas and Mississippi, state legislatures have already passed laws to withdraw public funding from any college that declares itself a "sanctuary campus." The designation has no legal basis, but signals to undocumented students that the university has vowed to not co-operate with immigration-enforcement agents.
Now, with higher education committed to protecting DACA recipients, some universities will be squarely in the crosshairs of vehemently anti-immigration politicians.
In Kansas, for example, Kris Kobach, a Trump ally and candidate for Kansas governor, said this week that he does not support replacing DACA. "I would suggest go home and get in line, come into the United States legally, then get a green card, then become a citizen," he said in response to a media question about the program this week.
Public colleges may be cautious about how they engage in this battle, some said.
"Private colleges have no restrictions on their ability to advocate on this issue, public colleges might well have limitations depending on whether they are a Republican or Democratic leaning state," said Terry Hartle, senior vice-president for government and public affairs at the American Council on Education, one of the groups organizing lobbying efforts.
"In some states, you will find that presidents don't want to be involved in immigration-related issues because they are so controversial in their state," he said.
Many of the states that threatened to sue the administration over DACA, precipitating the end of the measure, are home to universities that strongly supported the legislation. Some, like the University of Kansas, have legal centres devoted to helping students gain legal status.
But statements of support from institutions in Kansas or Louisiana shy away from denouncing the end of DACA, as less-vulnerable universities – including Berkeley, Brown and a consortium of private Catholic institutions – have done.
The immediate fear in higher education and advocacy groups is that students will become anxious, or will fail to renew their permits in the month-long window created by Trump's order.
"What we don't want to do is have these students go into the shadows," said Allan Wernick, the director of Citizenship Now!, the largest university-based immigration legal service, based at the City University of New York. "That's not where they need to be right now, where they need to be is seeking advice, getting assistance, getting renewals."
About 800,000 people are able to work, study and live legally as a result of DACA, an executive measure enacted by former president Barack Obama. The measure suspended removals for young, undocumented migrants who had arrived in the U.S. before 2007.
Video: States sue over Trump's 'outrageous' DACA rollback (The Associated Press)
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