President Donald Trump‘s expected pending announcement of the repeal of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), has higher education leaders worried about what will become of the thousands of people currently enrolled in American colleges and universities, who may not get to earn their degrees. DACA allowed children brought into the United States illegally by their parents to remain in the country temporarily with certain conditions, without fear of deportation.
With a repeal of DACA, thousands of these people, commonly known as “Dreamers,” will be stripped of their protections. Many of them are college students. President Trump is expected to announce a six-month phase-out period for DACA, which could give Congress time to take new action. Those six months, however, would not help people currently in the middle of trying to earn a four-year degree.
“Taking action to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, even with a reported six month delay, will throw the lives of hundreds of thousands of young people and their families into turmoil,” Ted Mitchell, president of the American Council on Education said in a statement . “We must find a way to ensure that these extraordinary and gifted young people are allowed to stay in the only country, the only place they know as home.”
Mitchell isn’t the only one worried. University of Southern California President C.L. Max Nikias expressed concern for the dozens of his students who may be at risk with a DACA repeal. “At the end of the day, we want all our students to graduate with a USC degree. We don’t want to see anything that interrupts their studies,” Nikias told The Washington Post. “There has to be a solution to this,” he said. “After all, we are the most powerful nation on earth.”
[Image via NBC screengrab]