President Lee Pelton has joined the Dream Coalition, a national, bipartisan group of civic, community, and higher education leaders who have pledged to advocate for and protect the millions of Dreamers – undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children.
“Emerson College has been and will continue to be steadfast in its commitment to all who live, study, and work at the College, including undocumented and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) students, or Dreamers,” Pelton said in a statement. “When we speak of safety, of support and inclusion, we do not make exceptions.”
The Dream Coalition, which includes mayors, governors, national security and military officials, educators, and community leaders, was formed in response to President Donald Trump’s decision to rescind the DACA program, which President Barack Obama established by executive order in 2012 in order to allow Dreamers to study and work without fear of deportation.
By signing on to the Dream Coalition, Pelton is urging Congress to pass long-term, bipartisan legislation, like the DREAM Act of 2017, that continues to protect the Dreamers.
“These young individuals are our neighbors and friends,” the statement continues. “They are engineers, teachers, scientists, business owners, and doctors. They go to our schools, serve in our armed forces, and worship in our churches and synagogues. America is the only country many of them have ever known.”
Last month, following the announcement by Attorney General Jeff Sessions that the administration would be ending DACA, Pelton sent a letter to the Emerson community reaffirming the College’s commitment to supporting its current undocumented or DACA students.