AIEA Statement on Rescission of the U.S. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Order

September 6, 2017
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The Association of International Education Administrators (AIEA) joins with other organizations of higher education to express its disappointment and concern over the administration’s rescission of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) order.  As international educators we are keenly aware that identity and national allegiance is not merely a matter of where one’s parents come from, but rather how one embraces and contributes to the environment where one grows up. We lament the potential loss of some 800,000 American Dreamers and the severe disruption this will have on their lives and the lives of their families, communities, workplaces, and educational institutions.

The administration has framed this action as a matter of law, yet exceptions to immigration law have been integral in the history of the United States.  From the inception of the United States, immigration laws have at various times helped attract the skilled, harbored the persecuted, and promoted equity and family life, all the while recognizing the shifting realities of the global political and economic system and the human migration that it entails. The rule of law is indeed a fundamental pillar of democracy, one that rests on a bedrock of values and fair-play that can transcend general strictures, as our history of immigration law has shown.  AIEA sees the abandonment of DACA as a failure of spirit.  The Dreamers never broke the law.  But if DACA is not replaced they will lose respect for law and for the land they call home.

We call on Congress to right this wrong before it takes effect.  Comprehensive immigration reform may well be too much to ask for in the current polarized environment, but action on DACA is urgent.  We ask that the dream of a just and fair society remain intact for Dreamers, for U.S. citizens, and for people the world over.