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WASHINGTON – Today it was announced that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) will end in six months without congressional action. The CCCU urges Congress to act immediately. We stand with the nearly 800,000 DACA participants, as well as their families, fellow students, teachers, co-workers, employers, and others with whom they interact, who are devastated and directly impacted by this news. This decision will have far-reaching consequences for these valuable, deeply loved individuals, and so we call on Republicans and Democrats alike to look past party lines and come together to create a legal solution that respects both the God-given dignity of every person and the rule of law.
The people participating in DACA have lived in the United States since they were children, and their life in the United States is all they know. In order to participate in DACA, they have all been thoroughly vetted, registered with the federal government, undergone background checks, and paid fees in exchange for peace of mind in the form of protection from deportation and work authorization. This greater certainty allowed participants to deepen their involvement with and contribution to their communities, including as students in CCCU institutions.
As I mentioned in my recent letter to President Trump, we support ambitious, driven, intelligent students who have dreams of contributing to their communities and want to pursue an education. If Congress does not act to replace the essentials of the DACA program, the federal government is hurting both participants and those who benefit from their contributions. The Cato Institute estimates that repealing DACA will cost the government $60 billion and the economy $200 billion over 10 years.
We recognize that the situation is complicated. The current administration is faced with the same broken immigration system that has existed in the United States for far too many years, and too many people, like those in the DACA program, have been caught in the midst of uncertainty. Now is the time for Congress to get to work – but time is short. We support such proposed legislation as the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act and the Bar Removal of Individuals who Dream and Grow our Economy (BRIDGE) Act as ways to achieve this goal. We urge our lawmakers: Make the hard calls. Protect these individuals who call the United States their home but, through no fault of their own, entered the country illegally. Use an incremental approach or use a comprehensive approach—but please don’t use the excuse that it cannot be done.
We will continue to advocate for policies that recognize the dignity with which God has endowed all people, regardless of their ethnicity, race, or legal status, alongside our friends on the Evangelical Immigration Table and other partners in this work, like the National Latino Evangelical Coalition (NaLEC), the National Hispanic Leadership Conference (NHCLC), the American Council on Education (ACE), and the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU).
The Council for Christian Colleges & Universities is a higher education association of more than 180 Christian institutions around the world. With campuses across the globe, including more than 150 in the U.S. and Canada and nearly 30 more from an additional 18 countries, CCCU institutions are accredited, comprehensive colleges and universities whose missions are Christ-centered and rooted in the historic Christian faith. Most also have curricula rooted in the arts and sciences. The CCCU’s mission is to advance the cause of Christ-centered higher education and to help our institutions transform lives by faithfully relating scholarship and service to biblical truth.