The American Association of Community Colleges decries the failure of our federal government to establish a comprehensive national policy to address the complex challenges surrounding immigration. Proactively dealing with these challenges affects every state and clearly falls within the purview of the Congress. The lack of a fully articulated national policy has resulted in states taking independent and sometimes contradictory actions that negatively affect both noncitizens and citizens.
A commitment to diversity and access to equal opportunity has long been a fundamental value of our democracy. As open-door institutions, community colleges have actively embraced that commitment and are proudly the most diverse and the most accessible institutions in higher education. Their national association has been a consistent supporter of the DREAM Act, which would enable immigrant children who have attended our public schools to access higher education, fulfill their potential and contribute broadly to the future of our communities and our nation. We call upon Congress to pass the DREAM Act and to further fulfill its responsibility to enact a national immigration policy that is clear, that is fair, and that upholds our nation's founding principles as a land of sanctuary and opportunity.