The Oregon State Conference of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP-Oregon) is appalled to learn of President Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. DACA provides temporary protection to those immigrants brought to the United States as children. Discontinuing DACA threatens the education, livelihood, and wellbeing of 850,000 DREAMers, including more than 11,000 Oregonians. These DREAMers are our students, colleagues, and neighbors. They enrich our universities and strengthen the neighborhoods we call home. We stand united with all Oregon educators in unwavering support of our DACA students who have overcome significant challenges to obtain an education that will prepare them for a better future.
The decision to end DACA is short-sighted and threatens to deprive our state and country. Oregon’s DREAMers, like so many generations of immigrants, link our communities across the rich tapestry of American society and remind us of past struggles to make good on the promise of a more inclusive and generous society. Their struggle is our struggle; their gifts are our gifts. Many DREAMers are students whose hard-working, family-oriented efforts make our campuses far richer and our community significantly stronger. They are not a drain on our resources, but instead contribute to our social, cultural, and economic growth.
It is dismaying to observe the Trump administration play extremist politics to satisfy a far-right base. The murder of Heather Heyer by a Nazi in Charlottesville, VA reveals how these far-right politics endanger people’s lives and intensify racism, anti-Semitism, and xenophobia in our country. It is equally disturbing to watch as many of our elected leaders look the other way. This kind of bigotry insults the best of what America strives to be. Ending DACA is the kind of political maneuver meant to further appease the extreme right and further stoke hate and ignorance.
We urge our fellow Oregonians to contact their members of Congress in support of the passage of the DREAM Act. The failure to pass reasonable, comprehensive, and compassionate immigration reform is yet another smear on the American Dream.
Michael Dreiling, President