The Supreme Court’s ruling today to block the termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is a welcome one for many of the nation’s community colleges and the students they serve. Community colleges serve the majority of underrepresented students in the United States, including many Dreamers that have only known America as their home and work hard to attain higher education to better themselves and their communities.
I am proud of the work that AACC has done to advance the needs of these students and applaud the Supreme Court’s decision. An amicus brief filed by the American Council on Education on behalf of 44 higher education associations, including AACC, noted that “Dreamers are also highly productive members of the Nation’s economy, contributing over a quarter of a trillion dollars in economic growth, thanks in large part to their ability to earn an advanced education.”
Today’s ruling eliminates the uncertainty about DACA students and their right to higher education. For community colleges, it allows them to provide educational opportunities for all students. I would like to commend the work of Eloy Oakley and the California Community College State Chancellor’s Office for their diligence and leadership on this issue and AACC’s, David Baime and Jim Hermes for their tireless advocacy on behalf of community colleges and DACA students.
This milestone decision is a positive step but our work is far from done. Legislative action is the only mechanism that will provide permanent protection for these students. We will continue to advocate for the passage of the DREAM Act to provide a path to citizenship for DACA students and all of the nation’s Dreamers.
Community college education is an on-ramp to the American Dream for citizens and Dreamers alike. I want to thank you for your continued support of access for all community college students.
Walter G. Bumphus, Ph.D.
President and CEO