President Hrabowski signs letter urging U.S. Congress to take action on DACA

UMBC President Freeman Hrabowski has joined nearly 800 other college and university presidents in signing a letter to Congressional leaders urging them to pass a long-term, legislative solution to protect “dreamers”—undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children—from deportation. The move follows President Trump’s decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy implemented by President Obama in 2012.

The letter, coordinated by the American Council on Education (ACE), does not put forth specific legislation, but cites polls that show a majority of Americans support a permanent solution that would allow dreamers to remain in the United States. It reminds Congress that DACA recipients are “Americans in every way but immigration status” and “have made incredible contributions to our country and its economy and security.”

“Over the past several decades, researchers have found that students who attend culturally diverse colleges and universities experience greater intellectual benefits than those who do not,” says David Di Maria, associate vice provost of international education at UMBC. “As a world-class university, UMBC is strengthened by the diverse perspectives dreamers bring to our classrooms, the discoveries they make in our laboratories and the service they provide to communities based here in Maryland, across the United States and around the world.”

The ACE letter is one of several ways UMBC has shown support for dreamers and the positive contributions they make to the United States. As early as November 2016, President Hrabowski co-signed a statement urging business, civic, religious and non-profit sectors to support DACA and undocumented immigrant students, and offering to meet with government leaders to discuss the issue. More than 700 higher education institutions have joined the statement since then. President Hrabowski also co-signed a similar letter to President Trump in March with more than 560 college presidents. In addition, he has signed on to the CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion pledge, a broader commitment to advance diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

As an institution with students, faculty, and staff from more than 100 countries, UMBC knows the value of bringing diverse minds together in the pursuit of knowledge and solutions to society’s greatest challenges.

“At UMBC, we are committed to supporting all members of our community, and we recognize that each person brings a valuable perspective and set of  experiences to our campus,” says President Hrabowski. “It is important for our country to support dreamers, not only so that they can live fulfilling and purposeful lives, but also so that our country can benefit from the ideas and skills they bring to society.”

Visit UMBC’s Diversity and Inclusion site for more information about resources available to the UMBC community, programs and student organizations dedicated to supporting diversity and inclusion, and related UMBC policies.