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Swarthmore Joins Brief Urging Supreme Court to Uphold Rights of DACA Recipients

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“Swarthmore has a longstanding commitment to the protection and inclusion of groups subjected to acts that threaten their freedom and safety," says President Valerie Smith. "DACA students are in a precarious position, and we have the moral responsibility to stand up for them.”

Swarthmore has joined more than 164 colleges and universities from across the country in signing an amicus brief [pdf] that supports the rights of the roughly 700,000 young immigrants who came to the U.S. as children and hold Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status.

This “friend of the court” brief, coordinated by the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration, urges the Supreme Court to stand in support of DACA recipients during arguments on consolidated cases scheduled for November 12.

At risk are the rights of DACA recipients — the Dreamers — to live, study, and work in the U.S. 

“We’re proud to reaffirm our support of DACA students, both here at the College and across the country,” President Valerie Smith said. “Swarthmore has a longstanding commitment to the protection and inclusion of groups subjected to acts that threaten their freedom and safety. DACA students are in a precarious position, and we have the moral responsibility to stand up for them.”

Established in 2012, DACA has offered its recipients temporary protection from deportation and the right to work legally. Swarthmore ensures that undocumented and DACA students are admitted without regard to their financial status and have full access to financial aid. Additionally, the College will do everything — to the fullest extent of the law — to promote the safety of any member of the campus community who may face heightened threat.

In 2016, Smith joined more than 100 presidents from colleges and universities across the country to support DACA and condemn hate and violence.

“Our Quaker heritage provides us with a long tradition of standing up for what is right,” Smith said at the time. “We have supported women's suffrage, equal rights, conscientious objectors, free speech, academic freedom, and the ability of students to pursue their education without government interference."

In late 2017, the Trump administration announced the termination of the program, jeopardizing the future of hundreds of thousands of young people.

President Valerie Smith condemned the termination of the DACA program, urging Swarthmore to “do everything in our power to continue to support our DACA and undocumented students.

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