Five Former ED Secretaries Chime In on DACA

Five former U.S. education secretaries penned a rare joint letter to Congress last week urging lawmakers to preserve the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, USA Today reported. The letter comes in response to the Trump administration's announcement to effectively end the Obama-era program, which gave Congress six months to formulate a permanent legislative fix.

The bipartisan group—comprised of Arne Duncan and John B. King Jr., President Obama's education secretaries; Rod Paige and Margaret Spellings, who served under President George W. Bush; and Richard Riley, who served under President Clinton—stated that the contributions of so-called Dreamers "have already made our country stronger." Trump's actions on DACA, they continued, "would trigger a chaotic reversal of the gains achieved" by these young people, "undermine faith in our country's immigration system, and make it harder to enforce our laws. It would create a gaping hole in our economy, disrupt our communities, and make it infinitely harder to strengthen our immigration system and protect our country."

"DACA was always a temporary fix, a band-aid designed to hold until Congress acted," the former secretaries wrote. "That time has come. As you well know, bipartisan legislation known as the DREAM Act has been introduced every Congress since 2001 to address this issue. The DREAM Act would create a path for these young Americans to earn legal status and eventually citizenship, like generations of hardworking immigrants before them."

Fifteen states and the District of Columbia filed suit last week against the Trump administration over the decision to rescind DACA. The University of California also sued the Trump for violating the university system's rights, and the rights of its students.


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