Agnes Scott leader: Support college students of illegal immigrants

Protesters demonstrated against Georgia Board of Regents policies that bar immigrants without legal status from attending five of the state’s top schools and require they pay out-of-state tuition rates at its others. BOB ANDRES /BANDRES@AJC.COM
Protesters demonstrated against Georgia Board of Regents policies that bar immigrants without legal status from attending five of the state’s top schools and require they pay out-of-state tuition rates at its others. BOB ANDRES /BANDRES@AJC.COM

At the same time the University System of Georgia was issuing a warning to its public campuses Monday that they must obey immigration laws, the president of Agnes Scott College in Decatur was explaining why undocumented students attending her campus under the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program deserve support.

“Why does Agnes Scott support DACA students? Because as a private, church-related institution, we believe children should not be punished for actions by adults over whom they had no control. We believe it is our right as well as our sacred obligation to invest in young people who have the skills and drive to make a difference in the world. And we are committed, in the words of our mission statement, to educating students to ‘think deeply, live honorably, and engage the intellectual and social challenges of their times,’” writes President Elizabeth Kiss in the AJC Get Schooled blog.

Many children of illegal immigrants are now attending college under the 4-year-old DACA program. The federal program applies to young immigrants illegally brought to the U.S. as children, who attend school here and have no felony convictions. Those accepted into the program are granted temporary reprieves from deportation and permits to work legally in the U.S.

More 740,000 immigrants, including 23,000 Georgians, have benefited from DACA. Many now fear President-Elect Donald Trump will act on his promise to crack down on illegal immigrants and undo DACA. Both Agnes Scott and Emory University have issued statements in support of those students on their campuses.

To read more, go to the AJC Get Schooled blog.

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