YPSILANTI -- Eastern Michigan University President James Smith joined the presidents and chancellors of Michigan's other 14 public universities in encouraging congressional action to preserve provisions of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. In a letter sent to Michigan's congressional delegation on behalf of the Michigan Assocation of State Universities (MASU), the university presidents stated:
Many of the 800,000 DREAMers nationally (those enrolled in the DACA program) are working here in Michigan, paying taxes, and are furthering their education at our institutions and others with the hopes of contributing even more to advancing the state’s talent capacity and to improving their local communities. Absent a Congressional solution, these young adults, who were brought to the U.S. at a young age, face deportation to countries they do not know. It will also mark an end to their aspirations and ability to contribute to society and the economy of our state and nation.
We ask that you urgently work to pass legislation that at a minimum codifies the provisions of the DACA program. Such a legislative outcome will prevent hundreds of thousands of young people’s lives from being dramatically disrupted and will allow these individuals to continue their vital contributions to workplaces, college campuses, and communities throughout Michigan and the U.S.
In his welcome message to campus on Wednesday, September 6, President Smith spoke further about this issue:
I proudly co-signed a letter last year, along with hundreds of other higher education institutions, supporting the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. As a result of the administration’s decision this week to repeal DACA, students across the nation face anxiety and confusion. I have joined the presidents of other Michigan universities and the Michigan Association of State Universities in signing a letter that will be sent to each member of the Michigan congressional delegation, encouraging them to expeditiously pass a legislative solution that will preserve the provisions in the current DACA program.
We will continue to support Eastern students who may be impacted by this action to ensure their continued success, and will continue working with other organizations and our elected officials to find a permanent pathway to allow these students to complete their education.
About Eastern Michigan University
Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest university in Michigan. It currently serves 22,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Health and Human Services; Technology, and its graduate school. EMU is regularly recognized by national publications for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website.