By Cole Hatcher
Ohio Wesleyan, Ohio Five Colleges Urge Preservation of Protections
DELAWARE, Ohio – Ohio Wesleyan University and all Five Colleges of Ohio are urging Congress to preserve the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which allows young immigrants who came to the United States with their parents illegally to remain in the country.
On Tuesday, Ohio Wesleyan President Rock Jones, Ph.D., and the presidents of the College of Wooster, Denison University, Kenyon College, and Oberlin College sent a joint letter to U.S. Sens. Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman urging them to preserve DACA.
Earlier Tuesday, President Trump announced that he would end the DACA protections enacted by former President Obama by executive order in 2012. Under Trump’s mandate, DACA will expire in six months, which he says will give Congress time to create an alternative to the program that currently grants legal protections to an estimated 800,000 “dreamers.”
In their letter to Ohio’s two U.S. senators, the Five Colleges of Ohio presidents stated:
For almost two centuries, Ohio liberal arts colleges have helped young people make a difference in our state and our nation, regardless of their country of origin. Ohio and our institutions have been pioneers in extending educational opportunity for all, a reflection of America’s values of equality and enterprise. We ask you now to stand with us to safeguard this path to higher education by maintaining the protections of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
DACA students – who have defied every obstacle in order to pursue education at our colleges and others around the state – are persistent, talented, and successful members of our academic communities. They grew up in our country, excelled in its high schools, and now stand ready to contribute to our nation. Cutting short their educations through threatened deportation denies them – and us – the promise of that future.
In sharing information with the OWU campus community, President Jones also conveyed his personal concerns over the Trump Administration’s decision to end DACA.
“I am very disappointed by this action, which could harm hundreds of thousands of young people who are and will be making vital contributions to our economy and our civil society,” Jones stated. “While I know everyone does not endorse the DACA program, it has received bipartisan support by leaders in government, industry, and academia. …
“We are unshakeable in our commitment to helping all academically qualified students achieve the dream of a college education,” Jones said of Ohio Wesleyan. “To that end, we will do everything possible to advocate for a permanent legislative solution that extends the promises, opportunities, and benefits to our economy and society now provided by DACA.”
Founded in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier liberal arts universities. Located in Delaware, Ohio, the private university offers nearly 90 undergraduate majors and competes in 23 NCAA Division III varsity sports. Through Ohio Wesleyan’s signature OWU Connection program, students integrate knowledge across disciplines, build a diverse and global perspective, and apply their knowledge in real-world settings. Ohio Wesleyan is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives,” listed on the latest President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction, and included in the U.S. News & World Report and Princeton Review “best colleges” lists. Learn more at www.owu.edu.