Jessica Branks, News Writer • firstname.lastname@example.org
An Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) SWAT officer dons his gear. ICE enforces a variety of immigration laws. // Courtesy of Wikipedia Commons
E&H President Jake Schrum responded to the DACA repeal with a statement to the college community. In the statement, he explained that E&H is committed to providing opportunities to those affected.
On September 5, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program would be rescinded.
On the same day, President Trump tweeted, “Congress now has 6 months to legalize DACA (something the Obama Administration was unable to do). If they can’t, I will revisit the issue!”
Several news sources, including the New York Times have said that as many as 800,000 people are registered under DACA. According to the Migration Policy Institute, 40,000 people in Virginia alone are considered DACA-eligible.
DACA was put in place through an executive order by former President Barack Obama in June 2012.
According to an article published in the University of Iowa’s Journal of Gender, Race & Justice, DACA has “been criticized as amnesty or a blanket pardon for illegal aliens.”
In response to DACA being rescinded, Emory & Henry President Jake Schrum sent a statement to the internal college community, including students, faculty and staff. In this statement, he said, “I wish to reaffirm our commitment to providing opportunities for young people affected by this decision and who are, in their hearts, citizens of this country.”
President Schrum expanded on his statement in an interview where he stated his personal opinion on the issue. He said that, “I would have liked to have been able to see the congress realize that these students, who are here at no fault of their own, most of whom are great, great citizens working hard to get through college, and to make a life for themselves here and that we need to find a pathway to citizenship.”
In the Spring semester, a motion to make Emory & Henry a “sanctuary campus” was put before the Student Government Association (SGA) and received some mixed support.
Despite being debated in the SGA, E&H did not become a sanctuary campus. President Schrum said, “In terms of sanctuary campus, that didn’t get very much traction I don’t think because I don’t wanna put the college in the position of breaking the law.”
The future for those registered under DACA seems uncertain, and relies largely on the ability of our current Congress to pass a fair, long-term legal solution.
In the meantime, President Schrum encouraged students to call “on our Virginia Congressional delegation… and other elected representatives in Washington to support the young dreamers of this country.”