President Napolitano: What President Trump can do for young immigrants
On Jan. 24, President Napolitano published the following in a LinkedIn post:
What President Trump can do for young immigrants
As the new administration begins its term in the White House, the future of a program that has helped thousands of young immigrants pursue an education, a career and service to the only country they consider home, is uncertain.
Campaign statements have cast doubt on what lies ahead for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. In my view, there should be no doubt about why we must continue this program and allow these students known as Dreamers to continue living productively in the United States.
In a post-election Time magazine interview, newly elected President Donald Trump said he was interested in finding some future accommodation for those brought to the U.S. without authorization as youths who now, thanks to DACA, have been granted temporary security from removal and the ability to work legally, free of the fear of deportation. “We’re going to work something out that’s going to make people happy and proud,” Trump was quoted as saying. “They got brought here at a very young age, they’ve worked here. They’ve gone to school here. Some were good students. Some have wonderful jobs. And they’re in never-never land because they don’t know what’s going to happen.”
That’s an encouraging statement. As head of the University of California where thousands of Dreamers are enrolled, I welcome the opportunity for thoughtful, constructive dialogue with the new administration.
Let’s be clear about who we’re talking about: Dreamers are young immigrants brought here as children and raised here. Some aren’t fluent in the language of their native country and they don’t remember what life there was like. They have developed deep roots in the United States and are studying in our high schools and colleges — often the first in their families to pursue a college degree — with the hope of ensuring a brighter future for themselves and their communities. They hold jobs and have stayed out of trouble.
In other words, they’ve done everything we ask our young people to do. Dreamers should not be punished for being brought here under circumstances they were too young to control.