EVERETT — Everett Community College has joined dozens of other higher education organizations in supporting a legal challenge of President Donald Trump’s decision to end a program that allows young people who arrived in the U.S. illegally as children to remain in the country.
The Trump administration last year ordered an end to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival program. Multiple lawsuits have been filed around the country challenging that decision.
Judges have ruled that DACA must be maintained and that information gathered through the program cannot be used for deportation purposes. The U.S. Department of Justice has stated that it will continue to defend the legality of terminating the program.
Appeals are ongoing in U.S. courts.
More than 70 organizations with the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration have signed an amicus brief, also called a friend of the court brief, filed earlier this month as part of a case in the Second Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals. The brief was filed by attorneys with the Washington, D.C., law firm Jenner & Block.
Everett Community College signed the brief because it stays true to the school’s values of creating an environment “that upholds the basic human rights of all individuals,” EvCC President David Beyer said in a news release.
DACA has allowed thousands of previously undocumented students, who have become known as “Dreamers,” to contribute to their campuses and communities, according to the brief, which lists colleges and universities from around the U.S. The colleges assert that they, and the country, would be harmed if DACA is rescinded.
Other schools in the state are listed on the brief, as well. Western Washington University President Sabah Randhawa said in a news release that the school is “greatly enriched by the contributions our undocumented students make to campus life, and we are committed to helping them be successful.”
“Expressing our support for keeping DACA in place until a better, permanent solution is worked out at the federal level is an essential part of that,” Randhawa said.
Since 2012, the program has encouraged Dreamers to pursue higher education, according to the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration.
“Through no choice of their own, Dreamers were raised and educated in this country as Americans,” according to the brief. “They have worked and studied in American schools; have prepared and trained for all manner of careers; and have strived to innovate, achieve, and serve their communities.”
DACA was designed to allow those who were brought illegally into the U.S. as children to stay, study and work in the country under renewable permits. They must be in school, have graduated or earned their GED, or have been honorably discharged from the U.S. military. They cannot qualify if they’ve been convicted of a felony or significant misdemeanor.
The president previously asked Congress to come up with a program to replace DACA. That has not happened.
Kari Bray: 425-339-3439; firstname.lastname@example.org