Tag: DACA

LU joins brief in support of DACA recipients; case heads to Supreme Court

Story by Ed Berthiaume / Communications

Lawrence University has again signed on to an amicus brief that expresses support for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, this time in a case headed to the United States Supreme Court.

Lawrence has joined with 164 other colleges and universities from across the country in signing the amicus brief supporting the roughly 700,000 young immigrants who came to the United States as children and qualify for DACA status.

This “friend of the court” brief was coordinated by the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration.

Read the brief here.

Lawrence is working in unison with the Presidents’ Alliance in its declaration of support for the young immigrants who have built their lives here and contribute to our campuses, communities and our country’s economy every day. Lawrence is proud to support DACA recipients and echoes the Alliance’s statement that it is vital that universities protect this vulnerable population, President Mark Burstein said.

Two years ago, Lawrence joined dozens of other colleges and universities nationwide to sign two amicus briefs supporting legal challenges to the proposed end of DACA, then part of civil actions at the U.S. District Court level.

Several cases have now been consolidated and will be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court on Nov. 12.

Amicus briefs are legal documents filed by non-litigants with deep interest in a case, advising the court of additional information, perspectives or arguments to consider.

In signing the updated amicus brief, and joining the Presidents’ Alliance, Lawrence is reaffirming its statement of DACA support, Burstein said.

“Ensuring Lawrence remains open to students from all backgrounds who display academic excellence is a core value of this university,” he said in 2017. “DACA has provided a valuable avenue for talented students to pursue a college education and meaningful work.”

The new amicus brief makes the argument that once these young immigrants have an opportunity to access higher education, they tend to flourish, and that’s exactly what DACA was intended to do.

“Amici have seen firsthand the positive effects of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) on their campuses,” the brief reads. “DACA has facilitated the pursuit of higher education by undocumented youth in unprecedented numbers, ensuring that once enrolled, these students are positioned to succeed. As a result of DACA, thousands of talented and hard-working young people have made significant and wide-ranging contributions to amici’s campuses.”

The opportunities that then come with a degree not only benefit the student, but also the economics of the community as these young people go on to pursue professional careers and give back in multiple ways.

“DACA is enlightened and humane; it represents the very best of America,” the brief states. “It provides legal certainty for a generation of hard-working, high-achieving, and determined young people who love this country and were raised here.

“Once at college or university, DACA recipients are among the most engaged students both academically and otherwise. They work hard in the classroom and become deeply engaged in co-curricular activities, supporting communities on and off campus.

“Moreover, our DACA students are deeply committed to giving back to their communities and, more broadly, the country they love. We should not be pushing them out of the country or returning them to a life in the shadows. As institutions of higher education, we see every day the achievement and potential of these young people, and we think it imperative for both us and them that they be allowed to remain here and live out their dreams.”

Ed Berthiaume is director of public information at Lawrence University. Email: ed.c.berthiaume@lawrence.edu

Lawrence supports court challenge to DACA program rescission

Lawrence University has joined 49 other colleges and universities in signing an amicus curiae — friend-of-the-court — brief supporting a legal challenge to the proposed end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

The universities signed the brief as part of a civil action which the University of California is pursuing in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, San Francisco Division.

President Mark Burstein
President Burstein

Lawrence is the only Wisconsin institution to join this brief. Similar briefs have been signed and filed by Ivy League colleges and higher education institutions with religious affiliations.

The California lawsuit challenges a Sept. 5 order rescinding the five-year-old policy that protects young undocumented immigrants from deportation. Congress was given a six-month window to pass a replacement law before DACA protections are eliminated.

Officials estimate approximately 800,000 young adults brought to the United States as children by their parents qualify for the program, giving them the right to work legally and remain in the country without fear of deportation.

“Ensuring Lawrence remains open to students from all backgrounds who display academic excellence is a core value of this university,” said Lawrence President Mark Burstein.  “DACA has provided a valuable avenue for talented students to pursue a college education and meaningful work.”

According to the brief, ending DACA will harm campuses and some of the best and brightest students across the country. It could deprive institutions of highly skilled and trained faculty and staff. It could force students to suspend their studies mid-way through their educational journey, leaving them with no degree to show for their efforts.

Perhaps most importantly, even for schools without DACA students, supporting DACA is central to the institution’s core mission of providing an education to help people realize their ambitions and potential and contribute to the community, the country and the world.

The brief states, “The rescission of DACA devalues that mission without any rational basis. In that respect, it harms all amici (those 50 institutions of higher education who signed the brief).

Students walking across campusThe brief concludes by noting “DACA is an enlightened and humane policy and it represents the very best of America. It provides legal certainty for a generation of high-achieving young people who love this country and were raised here. Once at college or university, DACA recipients are among the most engaged both academically and otherwise. They work hard in the classroom and become deeply engaged in extracurricular activities.

“Moreover, DACA students are deeply committed to giving back to their communities and more broadly, the country they love. These are not the types of individuals we should be pushing out of the country or returning to a life in the shadows. As institutions of higher education, we see every day the achievement and potential of these young people and we think it imperative that they be allowed to remain here and live out their dreams.”

The brief reflects the interests of institutions across the spectrum of higher education, including large public research universities, small private liberal arts colleges and two-year community colleges. Additionally, more than 800 college and university presidents have signed a letter to Congress urging them to take action to protect Dreamers.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

 

Lawrence hosting community forum on status of DACA

In the wake of President Trump’s announcement rescinding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, Lawrence University will host a community forum to address questions and concerns regarding that decision.

Monica Santa Maria
Mónica Santa María

Madison-based immigration attorney Mónica Santa María will lead the program “Rescission of DACA:  Understanding the Current Immigration Environment” Thursday, Sept. 14 at 5:30 p.m. in the Warch Campus Center cinema, 711 E. Boldt Way. The event is free and open to the public.

During her presentation, Santa María will provide background on the DACA program, including the status of various active lawsuits filed both against the program and against its rescission. She’ll also discuss the differences between the benefits provided by DACA (prosecutorial discretion) and legal status and action steps for DACA beneficiaries and their family members. A question-and-answer session will conclude the program.

Following her presentation, Santa María will be available to Lawrence community members for 20-minute one-on-one conversations related to DACA/undocumented topics until 8 p.m. Anyone interesting in speaking with her can sign up by contacting the Diversity Center, 920-832-7051 or diversitycenter@lawrence.edu.

A graduate of the University of Wisconsin Law School, Santa María opened her own law firm earlier this year. She began her law career in 2008 with the Madison office of Godfrey & Kahn, where she worked with the firm’s labor and employment group, focusing on immigration law. Prior to attending law school, she worked as a Spanish-English medical interpreter in various clinics and hospitals in the Madison area.

She earned a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University and a master’s degree from MIT.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.