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NACUBO Continues to Weigh In on Immigration Concerns

February 6, 2017

In the first weeks of the Trump administration, NACUBO and many other higher education associations have been vocal in support of policies that help protect students.

BRIDGE Act Would Offer Temporary Protections to DACA Students

NACUBO sent a letter of support of the "Bar Removal of Individuals who Dream and Grow our Economy" (BRIDGE) Act on February 3. The act, sponsored by Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) in the Senate and Congressmen Mike Coffman (R-CO 6) and Luis Gutiérrez (D-IL 4) in the House, was introduced in order to offer provisional protections to individuals eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program as larger immigration reform is underway.

The DACA program, instituted by the Obama administration, allows young undocumented individuals who meet specific criteria to register with the federal government without fear of deportation in order to work, pay taxes, and attend school in a legally sanctioned way. As NACUBO President and CEO John Walda writes, “For many in this population, access to postsecondary education made it possible for them to maximize their potential as contributing members to the American economy and our society as a whole.”

Then-President-elect Donald Trump called the future of DACA into question during his campaign, though he appeared to soften his position on children and students post-election. The bipartisan BRIDGE Act would provide DACA-eligible individuals with temporary protections while Congress debates it and other immigration reform measures. The American Council on Education (ACE) has written a similar letter of support on behalf of itself and other higher education associations, as has the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU). NACUBO and 25 other organizations endorsed a similar letter sent recently to President Trump.

NACUBO and Other Higher Education Associations Seek Meeting with DHS

 “Unfortunately, even temporary restrictions can be damaging,” stated 51 higher education associations in a separate letter to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary John F. Kelly. The associations are eager to reinforce our positions that global educational opportunities are critical and colleges and universities have long been partners with DHS, working to ensure that immigration policies do not become a barrier to students.

“We are concerned about the problematic implementation of the 90-day freeze on visas, such as cases of people with valid visas being turned away. We fear the chilling effect this will have on the ability of international students and scholars to continue to see the U.S. as a welcoming place for study and research,” the associations wrote.

NACUBO will continue to monitor immigration reform efforts for its many potential implications on both students and institutions. 

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Contact

Megan Schneider
Assistant Director, Federal Affairs
202.861.2547
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Liz Clark
Director, Federal Affairs
202.861.2553
E-mail