MIT will fight for Dreamers in face of DACA repeal

The MIT administration responded to President Donald Trump’s order to end the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy, commonly known as DACA, by declaring that the Institute will fight for its undocumented students to be allowed to remain in the country.

The Trump administration announced Tuesday that it will rescind DACA, an Obama-era program that allows certain illegal immigrants that were brought to the U.S. as children to receive a deferral from deportation and be eligible for a work permit.

In an op-ed in The Boston Globe, President L. Rafael Reif called the repeal of DACA a “mistake” and called on Congress to protect young immigrants allowed to remain in the country under DACA, called Dreamers.

In an email to the MIT community last Thursday, Chancellor Cynthia Barnhart PhD ’88 emphasized MIT’s support for DACA students, drawing a parallel between this support and the support for the students affected by Trump’s executive order last January banning entry to the US for citizens of certain Muslim-majority countries.

The administration is in contact with all affected students, the chancellor wrote, and students will be provided resources such as an on-campus immigration lawyer.

MIT is also working with other universities and companies to advocate for “comprehensive immigration reform.” Barnhart suggested that MIT community members call their representatives to urge them to “vote on a bill as soon as possible.”

More than 800,000 young people are enrolled in DACA nationwide. Though President Trump is committed to the repeal of DACA, the White House gave Congress six months to pass a replacement law.