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President Ross signee of letter to Sen. Stabenow supporting DACA students, faculty and staff draft own DACA support letter


President George Ross and his wife Elizabeth watch the big screen during a break in the action, Feb. 18 in McGuirk Arena. 

Central Michigan University President George Ross has co-signed a document with presidents from 15 other public Michigan universities in response to President Donald Trump's declaration he will end the DREAM Act.

The letter asks for the state of Michigan to "codif(y) the provisions of the (Deferred Action of Childhood Arrivals) program" to prevent children from being deported back to countries they never grew up in, do not know nor potentially speak the language of. 

"We, the presidents and chancellors of Michigan’s 15 public universities, ask that you expeditiously approve a Congressional solution to allow undocumented youth participating in the DACA program to legally remain in the U.S.," a portion of the letter reads.

The document was written Sept. 7 and will be sent to Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) said Sherry Knight, associate vice president of University Communications. It was signed by presidents from 15 other public Michigan universities including President Mark Schlissel of the University of Michigan and Edward Montgomery of Western Michigan University.

"As secretary-treasurer of the Board of Directors of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, President Ross also supports the DACA statement issued by AASCU," Knight wrote in an email.

The AASCU statement is three paragraphs long and calls on the US Congress to "act immediately by passing legislation to resolve this human tragedy."

"We are profoundly disappointed with, and strongly oppose, the administration’s decision to end the Delayed Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, under which individuals brought to the United States as children have been provided temporary reprieve from deportation from the only country many of them have ever known.  

Knight added as of 2015, only one DACA student attended classes at CMU. That student stayed one semester.

Regardless of DACA status, children younger than 18 who enter the country illegally have a difficult time applying for legal status.

"Undocumented immigrants — including those with DACA — who entered the country illegally cannot easily get lawful status, even if they have a family member who can sponsor them for permanent residence. They are inadmissible because of their unlawful entry," an advisory from the Immigrant Legal Resource Center reads.  

In addition to Ross' two statements, a list of nearly 150 CMU faculty and staff have signed a statement drafted in support of students affected by the rescinding DACA.

Christi Brookes, chair of the department of Foreign Languages, Literatures and Cultures, said the document is still collecting signatures.

"Some of those Dreamers are part of our community here at Central Michigan University. We, the undersigned, state our unflinching support for you," the document reads. "We recognize that you are invaluable members of our communities, and we uphold your right to stay in the U.S. and to lead a life free from the fears of deportation. We will do what is in our power to help you, and to point you to other available resources."

The statement also contains a link to the American Civil Liberties Union webpage outlining the rights of people in relation to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, being detained for immigration status and more. The webpage offers the information in Spanish and English.

"We stand behind the Dreamers," the statement concludes. "We believe in your American dream because it is our dream, too."


About Jordyn Hermani

Troy senior Jordyn Hermani, Editor-in-Chief of Central Michigan Life, is a double major ...

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