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

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Arizona State University president Michael Crow issued a letter to the school’s community outlining five future steps upon President Donald Trump’s official decision Tuesday to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

The program, also known as DACA, granted a two-year protection from deportation and a temporary work permit to undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children. Nearly 800,000 people have been affected.

Along with updating resources for DACA-affected students at ASU, Crow listed the following five actions that will help him continue to support students, regardless of their immigrant status.

1. We will work with the Arizona Congressional Delegation and other members of Congress to enact the DREAM Act or other appropriate federal legislation to provide an alternative to DACA by the administration’s March 5, 2018, deadline. I have asked Matt Salmon, ASU’s Vice President for Government Affairs, to lead this effort. I am hopeful that this time we will succeed in finding what I have long considered a pathway to an educated future for thousands of young people who have done nothing wrong.

2. We will engage the members of the Arizona business community and the various Arizona Chambers of Commerce who have supported these efforts in the past to assist with our federal policy work. Matt Salmon and his team will also coordinate this work.

3. We will facilitate legal advice for and to our students. I have asked Sr. Vice President and General Counsel, José Cárdenas, and the dean of the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Doug Sylvester, to coordinate this effort.

4. Past experience has taught us that despite overwhelming public support for the DREAM Act, passage is not a certainty. To cover that eventuality, we will begin work now with individual, corporate, and foundation donors to help provide scholarships and other resources to our students. I’ve asked Gretchen Buhlig, CEO of the ASU Foundation, and ASU Sr. Vice President Christine Wilkinson, to lead this effort.

5. Our contingency planning will include discussions with Mexican and other international universities to identify and develop higher education programs that may be of assistance to our students. Executive Vice President and University Provost Mark Searle and General Counsel José Cárdenas will lead this effort.

Crow added that ASU will continue offering counseling services for DACA students, and ASU also updated its immigration and travel resources page with information.

ASU’s president had already issued his support for students that fall under the DACA program before Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the president’s decision on Tuesday.

Sessions made the announcement official just days after reports surfaced that Trump would end DACA protections. A six-month delay will allow Congress to decide whether it wants to write legislation to protect the so-called DREAMers.

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