GW Joins Hundreds of Businesses and Colleges Urging Congress to Pass DREAM Act

The letter to congressional leaders came after a federal judge in Texas closed the DACA program to future applicants.

July 20, 2021

The George Washington University was among more than 400 signatories Monday of a letter urging Democrat and Republican congressional leaders to pass bipartisan DREAM Act legislation.

President Thomas LeBlanc signed the letter for GW along with presidents from New York University, Brown University, American University, Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Miami, Harvard University and others.

Citing an uncertain future for hundreds of thousands of Dreamers, their employers, families and communities after a Texas federal judge declared DACA unlawful and closed the DACA program to future applicants, more than 400 CEOs, university presidents and civic leaders sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) urging them to pass the bipartisan Durbin-Graham DREAM Act of 2021.

“GW is a better institution because of its ability to admit talented, gifted and passionate students without regard to national origin or ethnicity and without requiring residents of the United States to provide documentation,” Dr. LeBlanc said. “While we do not have a count of students who are registered with the DACA program or who are undocumented, we know that DACA has allowed some students who immigrated to the United States as children to thrive in their educational pursuits on our campuses.”

The letter was convened by the American Business Immigration Coalition, a bipartisan coalition of more than 1,200 business leaders across the country from Texas to Idaho, Arizona to Florida, and the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration, which brings together over 500 college and university presidents and chancellors on immigration issues that impact higher education.

“We urge the Senate to come together and immediately provide a pathway to citizenship for DACA recipients and DACA-eligible individuals through the passage of the bipartisan DREAM Act,” the signatories wrote. “We understand that no bill is perfect, but we believe this existing bipartisan bill is the best framework to protect Dreamers rather than starting over with new legislation.”

Others signing the letter to congressional leaders include Hugh McColl, former chair and CEO of Bank of America; Carole Segal, co-founder of Crate and Barrel; Mike Fernandez, chair and CEO of MBF Healthcare Partners; John Rowe, chair emeritus of Exelon Corporation;  Craig Duchossois, chair of the Duchossois Group; and Chris Wallace, president and CEO of the North Texas Commission.

For a complete list of signatories, click here.

Business leaders, including several signatories of the letter, will be on Capitol Hill this week to make the case in person for immediate action on providing relief to Dreamers, farm workers and TPS holders, delivering a clear message that inaction is not acceptable in 2021. 

About 93 percent of Dreamers are employed and pay close to $10 billion in taxes, while generating nearly $20 billion in spending power. They are students, teachers, employees, entrepreneurs and 200,000 essential workers, including first responders, restaurant and grocery store workers, childcare providers and almost 30,000 healthcare workers, including doctors and nurses.

 

 
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