The Trump administration is poised to make a decision soon on the future of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

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August 31, 2017

Dear Members of the Emory Community:

The Trump administration is poised to make a decision soon on the future of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The DACA program protects nearly 800,000 young people brought to the United States as children. It offers these young people, each of whom must apply for the program and meet certain federal criteria, the chance to build a future on American soil. It allows them to work, study, and give back to their communities without fear of deportation.

The elimination of DACA means the elimination of hope for many of these young people. It also threatens to rob our academic community of some of our brightest minds on campus.

Emory’s DACA students are creative and resilient. They have overcome obstacles the likes of which many of us can hardly imagine. Their love of their adopted country and their determination to create a better future remind us what it means when we talk about being good citizens.

Last week, I sent letters to Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Senator David Perdue, (R-GA), and the 14 House members of Georgia’s Congressional delegation urging them to support passage of the DREAM Act of 2017. The DREAM Act is a bipartisan bill sponsored by Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) that would support our best and brightest students and neighbors until comprehensive reform can find a permanent solution to the challenges posed by our current immigration system.

On our own campus, we have developed significant initiatives to serve community members whose immigration status could put them at risk. We continue to engage with DACA students, undocumented students, and other key stakeholders to help all of our community members in these uncertain times.

Emory has stood for progress and knowledge many times throughout our history, including times when that stance met with opposition. As Emory's 20th president, and as an immigrant, l want to reassure our community that while we come from all walks of life and all backgrounds, we find common ground in that part of Emory’s heritage which calls us to err on the side of compassion.

Sincerely, 

Claire E. Sterk

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