The Bennett College family is immensely troubled by the announcement by Attorney General Jeff Sessions that the White House is ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program.
Created during the administration of former President Barack H. Obama, DACA was enacted to provide deportation protection for children born to undocumented immigrants – many of whom are enrolled in U.S. colleges and universities. The decision by the current administration to end DACA and refer it to Congress is highly disturbing.
One of our students, Araceli Garcia, came to the U.S. at age two with her parents and is in good standing at Bennett College. On behalf of Araceli and other similar students, we urge Congress to enact permanent legislation protecting Dreamers with security to complete their studies.
Bennett has made counseling available for Araceli and other students who are worried about DACA’s future. I have personally spoken to Araceli and assured her she has our full support. I have also signed statements of support for Dreamers, including one written by the American Council on Education (ACE) in March 2017.
I will continue my support of Araceli and others because of my firm belief that we should embrace the diversity they bring to our nation rather than force them to return to their native countries, particularly when many of them, like Araceli, were mere toddlers when they arrived. Such treatment is unjust and flies in the face of everything Bennett College stands for.
Phyllis Worthy Dawkins, Ph.D.