Massachusetts was recently named first in the country in terms of its K-12 education and the number of residents with college degrees. We recognize and affirm that excellent education is critical to the Commonwealth’s and America’s future economic vitality. We are committed to the education of all our children and young adults who pass through our doors.
In many respects, our country has grown to its present strength due to the past influx of immigrants seeking the American Dream. That dream is grounded in our country’s belief that all are endowed with three basic rights: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The “crime” of the undocumented immigrant today is pursuing the same dream of many in the past – a better life for their families.
Five years ago, in recognition that the infants and children who accompanied their immigrant parents illegally entering our country did not choose to do so, the previous federal administration established Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Those with DACA status attend and graduate from our K-12 schools and benefit from the ability to attend excellent post-secondary education in order to bring the skills and credentials needed in our workforce today. Individuals with DACA status live in our communities, pay taxes, and are ready and willing to continue to positively contribute to our local economies and communities. Ending DACA and subjecting these individuals to deportation not only contradicts our shared values and the inherent principles in our educational missions, but threatens the economic well-being of our region, state, and country.
We remain committed to meeting the needs of every person who walks through our doors looking to learn and achieve, regardless of their immigration status. We stand together to fight for the continued protection of all the young people with and eligible for DACA.
On behalf of the Presidents of the Massachusetts Community Colleges,
James Vander Hooven
President, Mount Wachusett Community College