AAUP Denounces Decision to End DACA Program

In response to President Donald Trump’s decision to eliminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) president Rudy Fichtenbaum issued the following statement.

The American Association of University Professors denounces in the strongest possible terms the decision by the Trump administration to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA). This decision marks a continuation of the anti-immigrant racist policies that the administration has supported from the start. 

Many of our members come from families that immigrated to the US. Their forebears came to the US for the same reason that today’s immigrants do, for a better life for their families, especially their children. But the Trump administration, feeding off the fears and insecurity of many Americans, has used the issue of undocumented workers, along with racism and anti-Semitism, to divide people and disguise the real causes of the declining standards of working people, including working people of color. 

DACA, which provides renewable two-year work permits for immigrants who were brought to the country illegally as children, was created by President Obama after the Republican-led House of Representatives refused to act on immigration. About 1.9 million undocumented young people are eligible to apply for the DACA program. Nearly 800,000 had their request for DACA status granted in 2016. Of those who have DACA status, estimates for the number who are enrolled in college range from about a fifth to a strong majority.* Either way, a large number of those granted DACA status are our students. 

One of the major factors that makes American higher education a world class system is the diversity of our faculty and students. We owe it to these students and their families, as well as to other undocumented young people, to speak out against this action in the strongest manner possible. We call on our members to urge Congress to act immediately to undo President Trump's action and allow these young people to remain in our classrooms. 

We also urge Congress to enact a comprehensive immigration reform policy that will welcome immigrants to our shores—those fleeing political persecution and violence as well as those who simply seek a better life, regardless of their race, religion, or national origin. 

*This statement has been updated to reflect the range of public estimates of the number of DACA recipients who are college students.

Publication Date: 
Tuesday, September 5, 2017