Vermont college presidents issue statement on DACA

September 21, 2017

The presidents of 17 colleges in Vermont who are part of the Association of Vermont Independent Colleges (AVIC), including Saint MIchael’s President John Neuhauser, have released a statement on the revocation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program. Here is that statement:

As presidents of Vermont institutions of higher learning, we share deep concern over the
current administration’s decision to terminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
(DACA) program and the way it is being implemented. The decision to rescind the access to
education, permission to work, and exemption from deportation for almost 800,000
undocumented students and adults who were brought to this country as infants or children
threatens to disrupt the lives of students in our state and across the country who, through no
fault of their own, have known no other home than the United States.

DACA students make important contributions to American society. And they have contributed
constructively and actively to our institutions’ intellectual communities. Despite the six-month
delay, the lives of hundreds of thousands of young people and their families will be thrown into
turmoil midway through the academic year. We support swift action by Congress to bring
forward legislation to establish DACA permanently in law. We further support Congress in
their work to be forward-looking, finding a way to make the DREAM act and the BRIDGE act a
legal reality, allowing young people the opportunities to develop and use their gifts to build an
even better America. We applaud any progress that is being made to continue this program.
We also support Vermont in joining 14 other states in a lawsuit challenging the plan to
terminate the DACA program on the basis that it will cause harm to hundreds of thousands of
their residents, injure colleges and universities, damage companies and state economies, and
disrupt the states’ statutory and regulatory interests.

We are proud to be members of a state that has long embraced and protected its immigrants.
Our institutions all seek to enroll the best and most promising individuals regardless of their
circumstances, and we have benefitted from the presence and contributions of DACA students.
Vermont is a state that is proud of its independent spirit, strong sense of community, and sense
of justice. We stand united with DACA students.

T. Gregory Dewey, President Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
Mariko Silver, President Bennington College
Don Laackman, President Champlain College
Lawrence Jensen, President College of Saint Joseph
Robert Kenny, President Goddard College
Peter Eden, President Landmark College
Kevin Quigley, President Marlboro College
Laurie Patton, President Middlebury College
Milan Milasinovic, President New England Culinary Institute
Richard Schneider, President Norwich University
John Neuhauser, President Saint Michael’s College
Sophia Howlett, President SIT Graduate Institute
David Evans, President Southern Vermont College
Matthew Derr, President Sterling College
Roger H. Sublett, President Union Institute and University
Thomas McHenry, President and Dean Vermont Law School
Thomas Greene, President Vermont College of Fine Arts

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