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UW joins hundreds of other universities in defending Dreamers

UW-Madison, along with 800 other colleges and universities, signed a letter petioning members of Congress to implement legislation that would protect Dreamers.

Image By: Leah Voskuil-Cardinal File Photo

UW-Madison joined 800 other universities Thursday in a letter calling upon key congressmen to advance legislation to protect Dreamers. The letter, compiled by the American Council on Education, urged the leaders to implement a “long-term legislative fix” that would protect Dreamers — individuals protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Act.

The letter was sent to House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Cali., Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck. Schumer, D-N.Y.

DACA protected people who were brought to the U.S. as young people, and were granted the temporary right to work and live in the country. President Donald Trump rescinded the act in September.

The statement, signed by UW-Madison, used data from polls to defend their argument that people across the country support the need to protect Dreamers.

“If we are unable to protect these Dreamers, we will be shutting the door to an entire generation of individuals who seek to contribute their best to America,” the letter read.

According to UW-Madison spokesperson Meredith McGlone, Chancellor Rebecca Blank views the repeal of DACA as “unfair and not in the best interests of our country.”

“Blank has consistently voiced her concern about threatening DACA students with deportation,” McGlone said in an email. “She pledged earlier this fall to work with national organizations on this issue — signing the ACE letter is one way she's following through on that pledge.”

The letter mirrored a similar one penned on Sept. 20 by over 800 business and industry leaders, along with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Those groups argued for allowing Dreamers to “continue to make the strongest possible contribution to our country” by being allowed to stay.

“Colleges and universities have seen these remarkable people up close, in our classrooms and as our colleagues and friends,” the ACE letter read. “Despite the challenges they face, they have made incredible contributions to our country and its economy and security. They should continue to be able to do so.”

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