To the Princeton community and administration,
As members of the Princeton University community, our first responsibility is to our fellow classmates, students, and friends. And as editors of The Daily Princetonian, it is our duty to be stewards of the campus community. News broke today that President Trump is likely to end the Obama-era program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, perhaps as early as Sept. 1. And as University President Christopher Eisgruber ’83 wrote yesterday, ending the program would be a “tragic mistake” in the absence of any long-term legislative fix for the over 800,000 people currently enrolled. Eliminating the program would leave hundreds of thousands of people in the lurch.
Princeton should be a welcoming community where students, regardless of immigration status, are free to learn and thrive without the fear of deportation. Students have immensely benefited from DACA, and we cannot understate the important contributions that they have made to our campus community. DACA has allowed students to flourish in our academic environment under its protections. DACA students serve at the highest levels of our campus, in our Undergraduate Student Government, the Pace Center, academic advisory bodies, student activism and advocacy groups, and countless other ways. They are the leaders of tomorrow, and to rescind DACA is to remove their guarantor of academic freedom, individual dignity, and above all, futures.
We applaud the steps that the University has taken to protect our students through Eisgruber’s letter to President Trump on DACA and the University’s lobbying in Congress for the bipartisan BRIDGE Act, and we hope that the University continues to take every step possible to protect its students. Legislators on both sides of the aisle, including Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), have called for the passage of this act, and President Trump himself has said that DACA students are “incredible kids” who should “rest easy” about the program. In anticipation of the Trump administration moving to cancel the program, the University should strongly consider bringing DACA students back to campus before the Sept. 5 deadline imposed by the group of attorneys general who have threatened to sue the Trump administration.
The University’s informal motto is “Princeton in the nation’s service and the service of humanity,” and the administration should uphold our motto by continuing to fight for our students. The University has an obligation to protect both the academic standing and the individual dignity of its students, and it must keep that promise. So, we stand today as students, friends, and members of the Princeton University community, and a community should protect its own just as it serves humanity. Let’s live up to our motto.