Dartmouth signs DACA petition

On October 23, Dartmouth College belatedly signed a letter to Congress written by 800 colleges and universities requesting legislation that would permanently protect students who are temporarily shielded from deportation by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

DACA was an executive order signed by President Obama that provides amnesty to undocumented children. Roughly 800,000 people are protected under DACA, approximately 350,000 of whom are in school; however, in early September, President Trump announced that he plans to let the policy expire in March 2018, giving Congress a six-month window to devise another, more permanent solution.

As a result, the American Council on Education (ACE) sent a letter on October 19th to Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, and other members of Congress, Mitch McConnell, Nancy Pelosi, and Charles Schumer, urging them to pass legislation that would “protect Dreamers, outstanding young people brought to our country as children.” ACE is an organization that represents various higher learning institutions, and “is consistently at the center of federal policy debates in areas critical to higher education.” In the letter written to Congress, ACE states that “it remains in America’s best interest to enable [dreamers] to use their knowledge, skills and energy to continue to make the strongest possible contribution to our country.” As stated in the letter, there is no denying that undocumented young adults, who are attending universities, are making and have the potential to make positive contributions to American society.

President Trump ended the DACA policy because President Obama created the program through executive order, which President Trump claims is unconstitutional. He tweeted on September 5th that Congress has time to create a better solution, should they not be able to, he would devise a solution himself.

The Dartmouth College administration has track record of issuing statements in support of DACA students, so why did it take four days for the College to join nearly 800 other colleges and universities and sign the letter? Perhaps the ins and outs of actually getting their name on the letter took a little time. On the other hand, it is possible that the administration dropped the ball and realized only when it was too late that they should be among the other colleges that had already signed the letter.

President Hanlon’s letter to President Trump in September as well as his email to the student body conveys almost the same message as the one highlighted in ACE’s letter; nevertheless, Dartmouth should be a leader, not a follower. Given the continued the proliferation of Dartmouth administration bureaucrats, we are yet again surprised by such an oversight.