Georgetown this month joined 18 other colleges and universities in filing an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, in a case that eventually will decide its fate. Saying that students with DACA status are “some of the most gifted and motivated young people in the world,” the brief calls on the Supreme Court to prevent the Trump administration from ending the DACA program.
The DACA program provides certain undocumented immigrants who came to the United States before the age of 16—including upward of 700,000 students—with temporary protection from deportation, work authorization, and the opportunity to apply for a social security number. In 2017, the Trump administration rescinded DACA, prompting a number of lawsuits. The lawsuits resulted in nationwide injunctions issued by U.S. district courts in California, New York, and the District of Columbia, which allowed people who have previously been eligible for DACA to renew their deferred action. The nation’s highest court agreed this past June to consider a challenge to these nationwide injunctions.
Letter highlights benefits of DACA
In the new amicus brief, the 19 schools inform the U.S. Supreme Court in detail about experiences with undocumented students on their campuses and warn of the consequences to the students, the schools, and the country of rescinding DACA.
“Every day, [these institutions’] alumni can be found teaching in our schools, performing cutting-edge research, discovering ground-breaking technology, healing patients in our hospitals, starting businesses, leading our armed forces, and reporting on current events for local and global news outlets,” the brief states.
The brief also tells the stories of three Georgetown students who are DACA recipients, including Juan Jose Martinez Guevara (F’20), whose goal is to someday “work for the government—to help achieve what is best for America in the world and to help make the world a safer place.”
“Thanks to DACA, I can feel safe and confident while traveling, whether it be to attend school or to visit my family,” Martinez Guevara is quoted as saying in the brief. “Thanks to DACA I can focus on my studies without worrying that it may all be taken away from me at any second. I have always thought of myself as an American, but it is thanks to DACA that I can begin to truly feel like one, too.”
Georgetown a leading advocate for undocumented students
Over the past decade, Georgetown President John J. DeGioia has been a leading advocate for undocumented students, including urging Congress to pass the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, a legislative proposal that would help undocumented students gain a path to permanent residency.
Georgetown, 400+ universities urge Congress to protect undocumented students
On September 16, DeGioia joined other college and university presidents in sending a letter to Congress urging it to pass legislation providing permanent protection for undocumented students. “We believe it is long overdue for Congress to pass bipartisan legislation, in both the House and Senate, to provide permanent protection for DREAMers—young, undocumented, high-achieving individuals brought to our country as children,” the letter states. “We understand the Supreme Court will soon be considering DACA. But regardless of the Court’s decision, legislative action will remain necessary.”
In addition, Georgetown University provides comprehensive campus resources and support for undocumented students—individuals who have gone on to teach the nation’s most vulnerable populations, earn full scholarships at prestigious universities, and serve as pillars of their communities.
Learn more about Georgetown’s support for undocumented students at undocumented.georgetown.edu.