ARLINGTON, Va. (WDVM) — On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court weighed in on President Trump’s proposal to end Obama-era protections for undocumented immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children, known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA.
Many immigrant rights advocates protested outside the Supreme Court. President Trump took to Twitter and called some DACA recipients “tough, hardened criminals.”
“Many of the people in DACA, no longer very young, are far from ‘angels.’ Some are very tough, hardened criminals. President Obama said he had no legal right to sign order, but would anyway. If Supreme Court remedies with overturn, a deal will be made with Dems for them to stay!”President Donald Trump on Twitter
Marymount University also weighed in on Tuesday, referring back to a brief it submitted, along with 164 other higher education institutions, to the Supreme Court, defending DACA.
“Institutions of higher education have invested in these young people and rescinding DACA at the point where we’ve already made important investments in this sector of society and now pulling away from them…the opportunities for a better future actually damage us as institutions as well,” said Professor Matt Bakker, chair of Marymount’s Sociology Department.
“These young people that have been raised in the United States and that have graduated from our high schools and have the aspiration to use higher education as a pathway to improving their own lives and the lives of their families is something we should definitely support,” Bakker said.
Bakker says Marymount has over 50 undocumented and “DACA-mented” students. “Immigrant students in general, but DACA students in particular, really bring a different perspective to our classrooms, to our discussion about the experience of living in America today,” said Bakker.
For the first time this school year, Marymount accepted DACA students on scholarship. Dreamers and undocumented students do not qualify for federal student loans.
“This issue affects a lot of us on campus. I know a lot of people don’t come out and say ‘I’m DACA-mented,'” said DACA recipient and Marymount junior Chelssi Flores. “It would really have a big impact on us if it were taken away just because a lot of us drive. We wouldn’t be able to get here…we wouldn’t be able to afford education.”
Flores is majoring in biology. She hopes to get her masters in oncology in honor of her mother, a cancer survivor. “I was able to find out about Marymount through the Dream Project,” said Flores. Marymount partnered with thedream.us to provide scholarships to DACA recipients.