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City, UMD to Ask Continued Support for Dream Act

The College Park City Council will consider a resolution in support of the Deferred Action for Children Arrival (DACA) or Dream act.

On November 21, 2016, President of the University of Maryland, Dr. Wallace Loh, wrote to the UMD community, highlighting the uncertain status of immigrant students currently protected under the federal Deferred Action for Children Arrival (DACA) order. DACA provides an alternative pathway to citizenship for undocumented students who came to the United States as children.

In his letter, Dr. Loh noted that “in effect, they [these youth] have grown up as Americans…[and] are lawabiding young men and women…Many…currently serve or have served in the Armed Forces, paid taxes, and have contributed in numerous ways to our society”. He identified that there are currently approximately 100 UMD students on DACA status. In recognition of this issue, the Maryland State Legislature enacted the
“Dream Act” which provides undocumented students the opportunity to attend institutions of higher learning once they have shown they meet specific requirements.

The Education Advisory Committee (EAC) reviewed Dr. Loh’s letter and opines that this issue is a reflection of our long national history as an immigrant nation. These students want nothing more than to fulfill the American Dream by becoming educated, earning full citizenship, and becoming part of a strong American future. The number of undocumented students in our own community is much higher than those just at the University of Maryland.
Given the seriousness of the implications for youth and families in the College Park community, as well as our nation, the EAC recommends Council take formal action in support of the continuation of DACA by sending a letter asking the City’s federal and state representatives for their support of the continuation of the
program.

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