September 5, 2017

QCC, MWCC defend DACA as program's end is announced

PHOTOS/QCC
Luis Pedraja, the president at Quinsigamond Community College, was one of 14 community college leaders to sign a statement defending DACA.

All 15 Massachusetts community colleges -- including Quinsigamond Community College in Worcester and Mount Wachusett Community College in Gardner -- released a joint statement Monday defending DACA before the end of the immigration program was announced.

DACA -- Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals -- is a program founded by former President Barack Obama granting protection from deportation and work permits to undocumented immigrants who were brought to the country before 2007 as minors under the age of 16.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Tuesday morning the program would be rescinded and officially ended in six months, allowing Congress to enact a law to protect the approximately 800,000 DACA recipients in the country.

In the statement, the colleges cite the state's top status in terms of its education and number of residents with college degrees.

"Those with DACA status attend and graduate from our K-12 schools and benefit from the ability to attend excellent post-secondary education in order to bring the skills and credentials needed in our workforce today," the colleges said.

DACA recipients are contributing members of society in Massachusetts who live in the community and pay taxes, the college said.

"Ending DACA and subjecting these individuals to deportation not only contradicts our shared values and the inherent principles in our educational missions, but threatens the economic well-being of our region, state, and country," the statement said.

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