The presidents of Ohio’s 14 public universities have signed onto a letter urging Republican Sen. Rob Portman and Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown to protect “dreamers.”
The letter was written just days after the Trump administration announced it would terminate a program that protects from deportation people who had illegally immigrated to the United States as children. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, commonly refereed to as DACA, was put in place in 2012 under former president Barack Obama.
Brown and Portman were copied on the letter each received as were several other U.S. senators.
In their letter the college presidents along with the leader of the Inter-University Council of Ohio, said legislation needs to be passed to protect dreamers, some of whom attend Dayton area schools.
“On behalf of our students, and all who are potentially affected, The Inter-University Council of Ohio urgently requests congress to approve legislation incorporating a permanent solution to this issue, a solution that includes permitting these students to maintain their current status in this country and at our institutions,” the letter reads.
The leaders wrote that “DACA students” enrich learning environments on campuses and bring “extraordinary talent to our state.” The university presidents said they would work with legislators to stand up for undocumented students so that they are treated “with the respect they have earned.”
“These students have been raised and educated in the United States and have proven to be an important asset to our society. They need our support,” the letter states.
Portman’s office confirmed they have recieved the letter.
The letter includes the signatures of Wright State University’s Cheryl Schrader, Central State University’s Cynthia Jackson-Hammond, Ohio State University’s Michael Drake, Miami University’s Greg Crawford and the University of Cincinnati’s Neville Pinto, among others.
Several area college presidents spoke out on Twitter earlier this week in opposition to the administrations plans to rescind DACA. Schrader on Tuesday tweeted that “DACA students are important members of our community , and we urge congress to approve legislation and allow their contributions to continue.”
University of Dayton president Eric Spina and Sinclair Community College president Steve Johnson have also weighed in via social media.