In this country we learn at a very young age to believe in the American dream, a dream that promises equity and opportunity, inclusiveness and fairness. This promise is even embedded in the document upon which our nation was first conceived: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
As a nation, we have sometimes faltered in living up to these principles, but the hallmark of our democracy is that we continue to try. The decision announced yesterday to end DACA is a departure from these founding beliefs.
College Possible strongly opposes this decision. Ending DACA would effectively cast more than 800,000 Americans into the shadows and out of this country. I use the word Americans intentionally to describe young people brought to this country, often as infants, through no action of their own; young people who have pursued an education, been employed in roles and industries of all kinds, paid taxes, become leaders in their communities and raised children of their own to pursue the same American dream.
At College Possible, our mission is to make college admission and graduation possible for every low-income student who dreams of earning a college degree. Eliminating DACA is a substantial threat to not only this mission, but to the long-term prosperity and growth of the country.
The arguments in favor of DACA are more than emotional. A 2016 study published in The Journal of Public Economics, for example, found that DACA increased labor force participation and decreased the unemployment rate for DACA-eligible immigrants. DACA also increased the income of undocumented immigrants in the bottom of the income distribution. Using these estimates, DACA moved 50,000 to 75,000 unauthorized immigrants into employment.
We believe in better futures for all, and we stand with our students without regard to race, ethnicity, religion, immigration status, sexual orientation, gender identity or any other such factor. At College Possible, we know that giving all U.S. students the opportunity to succeed is the best way to create the future our country’s long-term health depends on. This short-sighted action by the current administration harms that future, and erodes the foundation of the American dream.
We are a better nation than this. We join the chorus of rational and compassionate leaders across the country in calling on all elected officials – especially Congress – to correct this injustice and demonstrate our fundamental commitment to our most sacred American values.
CEO and Founder