Wesleyan University Signs Onto Amicus Brief in Support of DACA Program

For Release: April 12, 2018

Press Contact:

Lauren Rubenstein
Wesleyan University
(860) 685-3813

Wesleyan University Signs Onto Amicus Brief in Support of DACA Program

Wesleyan University and more than 70 other member institutions of the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration have signed onto an amicus brief filed yesterday supporting plaintiffs who are challenging the Trump Administration’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (“DACA”) program.

The document, otherwise known as a “friend of the court” brief, presents compelling evidence of the vital role that the DACA program plays at the institutions and beyond, enabling thousands of previously undocumented students to successfully pursue a college degree while contributing significantly to their campuses, communities, and the nation. The brief also points to the serious harm that would be caused to American colleges and universities and to the nation more broadly if DACA were ended. Representing institutions of higher education, the law firm Jenner & Block prepared and filed the amicus brief for the case of Batalla Vidal v. Trump in the Second Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals. A court date for the case to be heard has not yet been set.

The brief states that DACA students “form a key part of our campus life and as institutions we benefit greatly from the energy and academic excellence they bring.” And, that rescinding DACA not only harms the many remarkable young people, but “critically, it will also harm the country, which will be deprived of the many contributions Dreamers would otherwise be able to make.” 

“Ending DACA would be a terrible step backward,” said Wesleyan President Michael S. Roth. “This program has allowed hundreds of thousands of young people living in this country to make the most of their lives and contribute in countless ways to their communities.”

Wesleyan welcomes students to apply for admission and, if accepted, to enroll regardless of their immigration status. Applicants with undocumented or DACA status who have graduated from a U.S. high school are treated the same as any U.S. citizen or permanent resident who applies in both admission and financial aid considerations. In 2016, President Roth declared Wesleyan to be a “sanctuary campus” for undocumented students.

Information for undocumented students can be found on Wesleyan’s Equity & Inclusion website.

About Wesleyan University

Wesleyan University is a private, non-sectarian liberal arts university in Middletown, Conn. Founded in 1831, Wesleyan offers its 3,000 undergraduates and 200 graduate students a demanding educational environment characterized by boldness, rigor and practical idealism. At Wesleyan, distinguished scholar-teachers work closely with students in more than 45 fields of study. The university seeks to build a diverse, energetic community of students, faculty and staff who think critically and creatively and value independence of mind and the generosity of spirit. Located two hours from both New York and Boston, the campus overlooks downtown Middletown and the Connecticut River. Wesleyan faculty also teach students around the globe through Coursera, including MOOCs in creative writing, the humanities, film, mathematics, and more. For more information, visit www.wesleyan.edu.

About the President’s Alliance

The Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration brings together American college and university leaders dedicated to increasing public understanding of how immigration policies and practices impact our students, campuses and communities, and supporting policies that create a welcoming environment for immigrant, undocumented and international students on our campuses.  The Presidents’ Alliance supports policies and practices that create a welcoming environment for immigrant, undocumented and international students on U.S. campuses.  Launched in December 2017, this non-partisan organization includes more than 300 college and university presidents and chancellors from across the country to date.  The Presidents’ Alliance invites college and university presidents and chancellors who endorse the principles in the Alliance’s Founding Statement to join.