Vanderbilt University has joined with 18 other elite universities in filing an amicus brief in lawsuits seeking an injunction against President Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, reports the Vanderbilt Hustler, the student newspaper.
Trump announced his decision to end DACA in early September but has given Congress a chance to act. Started by former President Obama with an executive order, the program has granted temporary permission to live and work in the U.S. to young people who immigrated here illegally as children and who meet certain criteria. They can get driver’s licenses and enroll in college.
Numerous groups filed suits challenging Trump’s repeal of the program, including 15 states, the University of California system and a number of DACA students. Filed Nov. 1, Vanderbilt’s friend of the court brief is in support of the suits brought by the University of California Board of Regents, six DACA recipients, the state of California and the city of San Jose.
“It is incredibly important that these talented young people be able to continue to aspire to be scholars and leaders, and contribute greatly to our nation’s communities,” Vanderbilt Chancellor Nicholas Zeppos said in a statement. “We stand united with our peers to support efforts that would see the program continue. Closing the door to these students is a mistake that will undermine the strength of our universities and the fabric of our nation.”
Conservative critics of DACA fear that continuing to shield recipients from deportation, and possibly giving them residency or citizenship, would open the door to routinely granting benefits to people who come to the U.S. illegally as minors. However, some Republicans are open to extending the DACA program in exchange for funding for tougher border enforcement.
The other universities that filed amicus briefs are Brown University, California Institute of Technology, Columbia University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Duke University, Emory University, Georgetown University, George Washington University, Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Northwestern University, Princeton University, Stanford University, University of Chicago, University of Pennsylvania, Washington University in St. Louis and Yale University.