By: Sarah Martin, News Editor

University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel and fellow presidents and chancellors of the Big Ten Conference sent a letter to Congress last month asking them to help protect DACA students, according to a press release by the University of Michigan.

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) was created in 2012 under the Obama administration. It allows children brought into the United States illegally by their parents to receive a renewable two-year period where they won’t be deported, provided they have clean criminal records and either enrolled in school or serve in the military. They are eligible to work, study, and obtain a driver’s license.

To be a part of the policy, applicants had to be younger than 31 years old when the policy began, lived in the United States continuously since June 15, 2007, and arrived before age 16. According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, there are approximately 800,000 individuals that benefit from the DACA policy.

The Trump administration rescinded the DACA program on Sep. 5, 2017.

The letter sent by the leaders of the Big Ten was addressed to Paul Ryan, Nancy Pelosi, Mitch McConnell, and Charles Schumer. The transcript of the letter is as follows:

“Dear Speaker Ryan, Leader Pelosi, Leader McConnell, and Leader Schumer:

“On behalf of the Big Ten universities, we urge you to take action on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy and pass a long-term legislative solution as soon as possible to protect Dreamers, outstanding young people brought to our country as children.

“The stories we hear on our campuses are troubling—high achieving young adults with uncertain futures. They are nurses, engineers, and pharmacy students. They are student athletes, leaders in music programs, and active across campus.

“These young people are Americans in every way but immigration status. It remains in our country’s best interest to enable them to use their knowledge, skills and energy to continue to make the strongest possible contribution to our communities.

“Please let us know what we can do to support you in protecting Dreamers and finding a permanent legislative solution to protect these bright, young Americans.”