In a letter to the White House dated Aug. 30, University President Christopher Eisgruber ’83 implored President Donald Trump to continue the current form of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, calling upon the President to shield DACA from any future court challenges.
Eisgruber’s letter comes on the heels of the Sept. 5 deadline that 10 state attorney generals have given Trump to either dissolve the program or have it challenged in court, a CNN Politics report explains.
The Obama administration introduced DACA in 2012 to provide certain young immigrants, including undocumented students, protection from deportation, according to the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services’ official website. Eisgruber writes in his letter that “repealing DACA would be a tragic mistake,” as it is a program that “has allowed talented and motivated students, who came here as a result of decisions by their parents, to pursue educations and contribute positively to our communities and our country.”
The program benefits almost 800,000 undocumented immigrants, according to a CNN report. In the letter, Eisgruber addresses the President in describing the impacts DACA has had on students across the nation.
“You have said that DACA students are ‘incredible kids,’ and I very much agree," he writes. "Indeed, I expect that the extraordinary young people at Princeton and other institutions of higher education who have benefited from the DACA program will be leaders in building the innovation economy that your administration has championed.”
Eisgruber’s message also notes that “fair treatment and inclusivity are values fundamental to America’s Constitution, its history, and its future.” He continues on to relate these values to DACA, explaining that “DACA carries forward these commitments and exemplifies the spirit that has long defined this country: it enables hardworking, honest young people to thrive as engaged and productive members of our society, and it strengthens us all through the talent that they bring to America.”
This letter signifies the University’s enduring support for DACA; on Nov. 28, 2016, Eisgruber released a statement regarding DACA and the University’s plans to support DACA students “to the maximum extent that the law allows” should the program no longer protect students, while discouraging the idea of a "sanctuary campus" designation for the University.
While a decision on whether DACA will remain in place has yet to be made, Eisgruber concludes his letter with a clear request to Trump: “I hope you will do everything in your power to preserve this program.”
This story will be updated as more information becomes available.