Georgetown University President John J. DeGioia has cosigned a new letter from the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration and the American Business Immigration Council supporting the Dream Act of 2021. In the July 19 letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, DeGioia and other members of the alliance and council called on the U.S. Senate to pass the bipartisan legislation.
More uncertainty for new DACA applicants
The letter follows a recent ruling by a Texas federal district court judge that blocks new Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) applications. While the ruling does not immediately affect students who already have DACA protection, it warned that a future order may also suspend current DACA recipients from filing renewals.
Given that around 216,000 college students are eligible for or participating in DACA, “the ruling sent shockwaves through higher education,” Higher Ed Dive reports. Undocumented students without DACA protection not only will face ongoing uncertainty but also will lose their path to accessing some in-state tuition prices and scholarships.
In the letter to Schumer and McConnell, DeGioia and others described how the ruling “throws into further limbo the lives of hundreds of thousands of young Dreamers, and gravely impacts their employers, families, and communities,” adding that “It makes starkly clear why Congress must seize the opportunity to finally pass the bipartisan Dream Act of 2021, and end this constant rollercoaster of lawsuits and uncertainty.”
Longtime support and advocacy
DeGioia is a founding member of the Presidents’ Alliance—a group of American college and university leaders dedicated to increasing public understanding of how immigration policies and practices impact students, campuses, and communities—and Georgetown for many years has supported passage of legislation.
In March, DeGioia and other Presidents’ Alliance steering committee members issued a letter to the U.S. Senate endorsing the Dream Act, which was introduced in early February by Georgetown alumnus Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin (SFS’66, L’69) and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham.
“These individuals–Americans in every sense but one–seek only what we want for all our children: the opportunity to pursue their studies, work in our communities, serve in the military and contribute to their families, states and nation,” steering committee members wrote in the March letter.