By Lauren Camera
May 23, 2017
A Rutgers University student protests in 2016. Catholic colleges and universities want clarification on the Trump administration’s plans for immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children. Albin Lohr-Jones/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images
More than 65 presidents of Catholic colleges and universities are demanding the Trump administration clarify its immigration enforcement policies regarding recipients of Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals, young immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children.
In a letter sent Tuesday to the Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, who is Catholic, the presidents urged him to follow through with the administration’s promise to protect them from deportation.
“While the DACA policy remains in place, expanded immigration enforcement priorities have led to the detention of at least 10 DACA holders who have not committed a criminal offense that would compromise their DACA eligibility,” they wrote. “In addition, recent actions and statements by Immigration and Customs Enforcement about young people who met the DACA criteria raise many questions about the safety of our students.”
FILE – In this March 31, 2017, file photo, Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks about crime to local, state and federal law enforcement officials in St. Louis. Former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio has added a surprising name to the witness list for his upcoming criminal contempt-of-court trial. He is seeking the testimony of Sessions, whose agency is prosecuting Arpaio for defying a judge’s order to stop his immigration patrols. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)
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The presidents requested a face-to-face meeting with Kelly to better understand how enforcement agencies are approaching DACA holders, and noting that various statements from ICE regarding the detentions and deportations of DACA holders have “alarmed us and our students.”
The request comes on the heels of a tweet from the official ICE account that read, “DACA is not a protected legal status, but active DACA recipients are typically a lower level of enforcement priority.”
The Trump administration has recently cracked down on illegal immigration by stepping up enforcement and promising to hire thousands of new border agents. However, the president has drawn a line when it comes to not targeting the 750,000 young immigrants, also known as dreamers, who were granted protection by DACA under the Obama administration – protections Trump has pledged to leave in place.
Last November, more than 100 presidents of Catholic schools signed a pledge to support DACA students and other undocumented students, and many have promised to refuse to share information or cooperate with ICE and Customs and Border Protection. Some have declared themselves so-called “sanctuary campuses.”
“The academic year will conclude in May, and many of these students will leave our campuses for internships, summer programs and jobs,” the presidents noted in the letter to Kelly. “Our prayer is that they return.”
For more information, go to: www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com