Update on the DACA Program

From President Teresa Amott

Dear Knox Community,

Today Attorney General Sessions announced that the Department of Homeland Security will stop accepting new applications for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). As reported in the Washington Post, “Those enrolled in DACA will be able to continue working until their permits expire; those whose permits expire by March 5, 2018 will be permitted to apply for two-year renewals as long as they do so by Oct. 5. New applications and renewal requests already received by DHS before Tuesday will be reviewed and validated on a case-by-case basis, even those for permits that expire after March 5.”

Like many hundreds of other college presidents who have advocated publicly for the DACA program, I am appalled by this decision, which places 800,000 individuals who put their faith in the DACA program at risk of deportation. Over the past year, many CEOs of major companies and legislators of both parties have also affirmed their support for DACA and mobilized to save this essential program. If you agree, I urge you to join this critical effort and call your elected representatives to ask for their support for legislative remedies in the next six months.

As we have said before, the College will continue to stand with our undocumented and DACA-mented students and all who seek to build a better future through education. We have been communicating directly with our affected DACA-mented students during these uncertain times and will continue to identify ways to support them in this new policy environment. You can find information on the web pages of the Center for Intercultural life, here.

At this time, civic engagement offers the most effective way of supporting our students. For more information, you can reference the comparison of current and proposed legislative actions circulated by Director of Government and Community Relations Karrie Heartlein earlier this week. We encourage all of you who have views on this matter to contact your representatives in Congress. Please do so as soon as possible so that we can work toward ending the uncertainty and pain this decision creates for our undocumented and DACA-mented students.

For those who live in the Galesburg area, your Congressional delegation includes Senator Dick Durbin, Senator Tammy Duckworth, and Representative Cheri Bustos. For those who live in the Peoria area, your representative in Congress is Representative Darin LaHood. If you have a different state of residence, you can click here for information on where to direct your thoughts on this urgent matter.

Thank you for supporting our students.