Trump dials back on DREAMers, college leaders still hesitant
- POLITICO reports on what appears to be a softening stance from President-elect Donald Trump on more than 700,000 undocumented citizens classified under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals initiative, which he insisted would be repealed if elected.
- Trump acknowledged that a fair deal would be in order for students brought to the United States who have attended school and worked, but both he and some of his prospective Cabinet members have long records of opposition to existing accommodation initiatives.
- States like Texas have pledged to withhold public funding from institutions admitting DACA students as sanctuary campuses, and Florida and Georgia have tuition and enrollment limitations for undocumented student admission.
A number of college presidents — even those in areas not traditionally thought of as being hotbeds for immigration issues — have repeatedly expressed concern over the fates of their undocumented students, and more specifically, how to assuage the concerns of students who are turning to administrators for answers. At CUNY, a citizenship center exists to help students understand their legal status in the U.S., but many campuses do not have such resources and campus officials don't have answers to the questions being asked.
The president-elect's softening on his earlier rhetoric about deportation may alleviate some of the pressure college administrators are facing to declare their campuses sanctuaries, though many admit they don't know what that means exactly, and some are facing political or economic repercussions for doing so. At this point, however, leaders would be best served to continue implementing programs and, where possible, gathering resources to help support all students on campus and provide a campus climate that is welcoming and inclusive of everyone enrolled or employed.