Reflection on the DACA decision

My heart goes out to the hundreds of thousands of young people whose academic future has been thrown in turmoil by the Trump Administration’s decision to rescind DACA today. I know their anxiety and their fear. I know it is personal. I know it is anything but academic.

On August 28 2017, the American Council on Education, the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, and dozens of education-related institutions sent President Trump a letter urging him to ensure that DACA continues to remain in place, saying among other things:

“These bright and talented young people are working, serving in the armed services or studying at colleges and universities. Because they now have work permits, they are making contributions to our society and our economy … According to a recent study by the CATO Institute, deporting those currently in DACA would cost over $60 billion in lost tax revenue and result in a $280 billion reduction in economic growth over the next decade.”

As President Obama wrote today, reversing this unexplainable action “is about basic decency. This is about whether we are a people who kick hopeful young strivers out of America, or whether we treat them the way we’d want our own kids to be treated. It’s about who we are as a people – and who we want to be.

“What makes us American is not a question of what we look like, or where our names come from, or the way we pray. What makes us American is our fidelity to a set of ideals – that all of us are created equal; that all of us deserve the chance to make of our lives what we will; that all of us share an obligation to stand up, speak out, and secure our most cherished values for the next generation. That’s how America has traveled this far. That’s how, if we keep at it, we will ultimately reach that more perfect union.”

Standing in solidarity with our young people is consistent with “uniting neighbor with neighbor and uniting neighbor with God without distinction.”

Harry E. Dumay, Ph.D., MBA
President of Elms College
Tuesday, September 5, 2017