Dear Mr. President:
I write to express my deep concern about reports that the Administration is considering whether to eliminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and to urge you to continue it as it currently exists. I also urge your Administration to vigorously defend DACA in the federal courts should its validity come under challenge.
The American experience has demonstrated that education and service are pathways to stronger communities and economic growth as well as personal enrichment and happiness. Since 2012, the availability of a legal status through DACA has advanced these goals for thousands of students who are in this country as a result of choices made by their parents. Most of these young people have known no home other than the United States. At Harvard and other institutions of higher education across the country, DACA has made it possible for talented and motivated students to pursue their education and explore meaningful ways of contributing to our communities and economy.
I have come to know many undocumented students at Harvard over the years, students who have worked hard their entire lives and have been standout members of their communities. These are extraordinarily talented young people who, like their peers, aspire to be leaders in public service, science, business, medicine, and the arts. They embody the drive and determination that has made the United States the most prosperous and innovative country in the world. We, as a nation, have already made an investment in these young people, and we will benefit far more by permitting these students to put their skills to their highest use rather than by repealing DACA and forcing them to return to the shadows of our society.
It is my hope and, more importantly, the hope of hundreds of thousands of talented, dedicated, and determined young people who are American in all but immigration status, that you and your administration continue the DACA program, and do everything in your power to defend it.
Drew Gilpin Faust