President Eisgruber sends letter to White House urging continuation of DACA program

Aug. 30, 2017 11:30 a.m.

Princeton President Christopher L. Eisgruber sent a letter to the White House on Wednesday urging U.S. President Donald Trump to continue the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in its current form and to defend the policy from any potential court challenges.

"Repealing DACA would be a tragic mistake," Eisgruber wrote in the letter. "DACA is a wise and humane policy that benefits this country in multiple ways. It has allowed talented and motivated students, who came here as a result of decisions by their parents, to pursue educations and contribute positively to our communities and our country."

The DACA program permits undocumented students to continue their studies in the United States without fear of deportation. Last fall, Eisgruber issued a statement of support for DACA to the University community and joined a group of what is now more than 600 college and university presidents who have signed on to a statement supporting the program.

In his letter Wednesday, Eisgruber told President Trump: "You have said that DACA students are 'incredible kids,' and I very much agree. Indeed, I expect that the extraordinary young people at Princeton and other institutions of higher education who have benefited from the DACA program will be leaders in building the innovation economy that your administration has championed.

"Fair treatment and inclusivity are values fundamental to America’s Constitution, its history, and its future. DACA carries forward these commitments and exemplifies the spirit that has long defined this country: it enables hardworking, honest young people to thrive as engaged and productive members of our society, and it strengthens us all through the talent that they bring to America."

Eisgruber urged the President to do everything in his power to preserve the program.