Commending University's support for DACA and DREAMers
Last Tuesday, Oct. 8, University President Ron Liebowitz emailed the Brandeis community stating the University filed a “friend of the court brief in support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program,” along with 164 other universities, as a part of an upcoming Supreme Court case. President Donald Trump’s administration is trying to rescind DACA, which “provides work permits and protection from deportation to nearly 700,000 undocumented people, known as ‘Dreamers,’ who were brought to the U.S. as children,” Liebowitz explained in the email. This board commends the University for taking a stance in support of DREAMers both on the Brandeis campus and around the nation, as it is consistent with the University’s values of social justice.
The Supreme Court case in question is a challenge to the Trump administration’s decision to end DACA, which was implemented in 2012 by President Obama and which gave DREAMers the right to remain in and work legally in the United States. DACA was beneficial to children and young adults who may know America as their only home. This board praises the University for taking this stand, and also commends students across the country, such as Elias Rosenfeld ’20, for standing up and telling their stories in the amicus brief. In a recent faculty meeting, Provost Lisa Lynch said that the University is also involved in another amicus brief, this one defending the optional practical training program that allows international students to work on a student visa. Since the University is fighting for immigration justice, there are other ways they can support DREAMers and other immigrants.
This board encourages the University to take further action to help clubs on campus that support immigrants. One such club is The Right to Immigration Institute, which “works primarily with the Waltham immigrant community and surrounding non-profits to better serve our clients,” explained Sam Ades ’21, an active TRII member, in an email to the Justice. TRII aids immigrants in navigating different aspects of the immigration process. This board encourages the Allocations Board to allocate more funds to causes like these so the University community can help more people. Ades explained the different ways TRII uses its funding: “A lot of the donations we get go to printing costs and towards translation services … Some of the applications we file are subject to DHS related fees, if our applicants are unable to pay the fee TRII will supplement the costs.” Other money TRII receives goes to paying for immigration application mailings, which can be very costly. In order to best support student efforts to support immigrants, the University should allocate more resources to make such efforts possible.
To take the support of DREAMers even further, this board encourages Brandeis to become a partner college of thedream.us, a group of colleges and universities who come together to support DREAMers who receive TheDream.Us scholarships. This is important because despite America being DREAMers’ home, they are unable to receive federal financial aid to attend college. In fall 2018 alone, over 3,300 DREAMer Scholars enrolled in college, and the organization has given out over $141 million in the past five years towards DREAMers attending its partner colleges. This board praises the University for the actions it has taken so far in helping DACA recipients, and this would be an additional step to help DREAMers receive their education.
— River Hayes is involved with TRII and did not contribute to this editorial.