University President Christopher Eisgruber ’83 is one of over 100 college and university presidents who signed a statement calling for the continuation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in light of the recent presidential election.
The statement asserts that the signatories are prepared to meet with policymakers of the next administration to discuss reasons for upholding DACA, which protects eligible undocumented students from being placed in removal proceedings and grants them employment authorizations. The signatories also called upon business, civic, religious, and nonprofit sectors to do the same.
“Since the advent of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in 2012, we have seen the critical benefits of this program for our students, and the highly positive impacts on our institutions and communities,” the statement reads.
“DACA beneficiaries on our campuses have been exemplary student scholars and student leaders, working across campus and in the community,” the statement continues.
In a statement emailed to the Daily Princetonian, Eisgruber noted that the University, like many other colleges and universities, has been a longtime supporter of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
“We believe that the students assisted by the program make valuable contributions to this campus and this country, and that the program deserves bipartisan support,” he wrote.
“I was glad to join the many other college and university presidents who signed the letter, and I both hope and expect that we will see additional support for DACA coming not only from the higher education community but also from other sectors of society,” he continued.
In an email released to undergraduate and graduate students last week, Vice President for Campus Life Rochelle Calhoun also noted that the University will do everything possible to protect students’ legal rights.
As of 5:00 p.m. on Nov. 21, with the exception of Cornell’s Hunter E. Rawlings III, the presidents of all Ivy League institutions have signed onto the statement.
The statement follows a series of student-led efforts in colleges across the country calling for sanctuary campuses and increased protection of undocumented students. Last week, hundreds of students and community members gathered in front of Nassau Hall to express solidarity with undocumented students and their families. The Princeton DREAM team, which organized the walkout, also spearheaded a petition that had garnered over 1,500 signatures as of Monday.
The demonstrations are a direct response to President-elect Donald Trump’s campaign rhetoric calling for the deportation of all undocumented immigrants as well as the immediate suspension of president Obama’s two executive programs, namely DACA and DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents of Americans). Trump has also called for building a wall on the border between Mexico and the United States. Last week, Trump stated during an interview with CBS that he will prioritize the deportation of 2-3 million undocumented immigrants with criminal records. Trump also tapped Jeff Sessions (R, Ala.), a DACA opponent, as attorney general last Friday.
The town of Princeton is a sanctuary city for undocumented immigrants.