Harvard affiliates celebrated the United States Supreme Court’s Thursday decision to block the Trump administration from immediately dismantling the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and called on lawmakers to institute additional progressive immigration reforms.
DACA is an Obama-era program that allows roughly 700,000 children brought to the U.S. by their parents to live and work in the country, granting them protection from deportation.
Hours after the news of the ruling, University President Lawrence S. Bacow affirmed his support for the Supreme Court’s decision and for undocumented students.
“Throughout my career in higher education, I have met students of all backgrounds, abilities, and interests. Dreamers have always inspired me,” Bacow wrote. “Although they are denied legal status and have lived much of their lives at risk of sudden removal from our country, they have become undergraduates at colleges and universities nationwide, leading in our communities and advocating forcefully for change.”
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. ’76 and the four members of the Court’s liberal wing voted to uphold DACA in a blow to one of President Donald Trump’s primary campaign promises: to terminate the program.
Though many Harvard affiliates quickly jumped to praise the ruling, they also called for further action on lawmakers’ part.
“Congress should now turn its attention to immigration reform and provide a pathway to citizenship for these young people and others, including individuals with temporary protected status,” Bacow wrote in his email.
Graduate School of Education Professor Roberto G. Gonzales, who directs the Immigration Initiative at Harvard, referred to DACA on Twitter as “the most successful immigration policy in recent decades.” He added, however, that protecting the program was not enough.
“DACA has not been perfect. It’s not a pathway to legalization and it doesn’t address the circumstances of parents, spouses, and loved ones,” Gonzales wrote. “What is ultimately needed is more for more people.”
Act on a Dream — a student-led immigration advocacy group at the College — urged for additional measures, including the abolition of U.S. Immigration Customs and Enforcement, citizenship for all immigrants, and open borders, in a tweet. They hosted a rally calling for the abolition of ICE in September.
The group organized a walkout in November to demonstrate support for DACA the day before the Supreme Court heard the case on the program.
—Staff writer Christina T. Pham can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @Christina_TPham.
—Staff writer Amanda Y. Su can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @amandaysu.