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Arizona State University president vows to support DACA students

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PHOENIX — The head of the largest public university in Arizona vowed to continue to support young immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children and later attended state universities.

Arizona State University President Michael Crow told KTAR News 92.3 FM that he has always supported advancing Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients who have graduated from Arizona high schools onto universities.

“We continue to support the continuation of the program, the continuation of the students moving forward and again doing all that we can to help them be successful with their lives,” he said.

Last year, President Donald Trump called for an end to the Obama-era program that granted temporary work permits to undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children.

But a U.S. judge ruled in January that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program must remain in place while litigation over Trump’s decision unfolds.

Related: Judge blocks Trump decision to end DACA program for young immigrants

Lawmakers have been attempting to pass legislation to protect the hundreds of thousands of people who are currently under the program and remain in limbo until a bill can be approved and signed into law.

Crow also said he has spoken to lawmakers and urged them to pass legislation that would provide a pathway to citizenship for the so-called Dreamers.

“I’ve spoken to many members of the Arizona delegation as well as others and what we urge for is what we call fairness,” Crow said.

“I mean, these are children or young adults who are Americans, built their life here, brought here by their parents,” he added.

“What I said to them is what we need is a pathway to citizenship to help these young people stay on track and move forward and we shouldn’t allow them to be used in a bigger set of unrelated issues. These are children who need their lives to get going.”

Related: ASU president responds to Trump’s DACA decision with 5-step outline

Crow has long been an advocate for the protection of Dreamers. After Trump first announced an end to DACA, he outlined five ways that the university would continue to support students, regardless of their immigrant status.

And in September, the university announced it partnered with two foundations that would help pay for the renewal fees of nearly 100 students who had protections under DACA.

The Arizona State University president had one final word for lawmakers: “It just needs to be resolved, and it needs to be resolved in real time.”

KTAR News’ Martha Maurer and Griselda Zetino contributed to this report.

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