Eisgruber, Romero, Sanchez, Smith, and legal team pose in front of the Supreme Court building

Princeton, Microsoft, Maria Perales Sanchez ’18 welcome Supreme Court ruling to restore DACA

Princeton, Microsoft and Princeton graduate Maria Perales Sanchez are co-plaintiffs in a case that challenged the government’s decision to end DACA. (From left) Princeton President Christopher L. Eisgruber; Princeton Vice President and General Counsel Ramona Romero; Princeton Associate University Counsel Wes Markham; Microsoft Assistant General Counsel Cindy Randall; Princeton Class of 2018 graduate Maria Perales Sanchez; Lindsay Harrison, litigator and partner at Jenner & Block; and Microsoft President and Princeton University Trustee Brad Smith stand in front of the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court in November 2019.

Princeton University, together with co-plaintiffs Microsoft and Princeton graduate Maria Perales Sanchez, welcomes the Supreme Court ruling today, which restores DACA and protects Dreamers across this country.

“Princeton University filed this suit because our success as a world-class teaching and research university depends on our ability to attract and support talented students from all backgrounds,” Princeton President Christopher L. Eisgruber said. “Today’s carefully reasoned Supreme Court decision rightly protects DACA beneficiaries against arbitrary agency action. We welcome that decision, but we also know that the Dreamers’ future, and our own future, will depend on legislation that gives them a clear path to citizenship. Princeton will continue to advocate on behalf of DACA beneficiaries and the many other immigrants whose talent, hard work, and creativity contribute so vitally to this University and to our country.”

The University will continue to urge Congress to enact a legislative solution that provides permanent legal protections for the full population of Dreamers.

Perales Sanchez graduated from Princeton in 2018 and now works at a Baltimore nonprofit that defends migrants' rights. 

“Today, we celebrate a positive decision being well aware that we still need a permanent legislative solution that includes all 11 million of us — our families, our siblings, our parents, and folks who don't fit the 'Dreamer' criteria,” Perales Sanchez said upon learning of the Supreme Court’s ruling on June 18. “I'm in awe of the power of youth to bring about change, and while I celebrate SCOTUS for the decision, I remind myself that this couldn't come about without the millions of folks putting racial and social justice first. We will keep fighting for a world that includes, celebrates, and uplifts us and sees us as human beings."

Microsoft President and University Trustee Brad Smith said: “Our plea is for a national discussion that involves more light and less heat. A path that starts with a recognition of the Dreamers’ collective importance to our country. A conversation that brings people together in a bipartisan spirit in a creative search for common ground. A discussion that encourages the White House and Congress to work together. An approach that gives people the time and space to be thoughtful. A route that avoids precipitating another crisis in a year that has already had more than its share.”

The DACA program permits undocumented students who arrived in the country as children to obtain protection from deportation, allowing them to continue their studies or work in the United States.

Princeton has been a leading voice among higher education regarding immigration issues. Eisgruber joined hundreds of colleges and universities in issuing a statement supporting DACA in 2016, and he advocated for the continuation of the DACA program in an August 2017 letter to President Donald Trump. Eisgruber also urged members of Congress to pass legislation that would provide legal status for immigrants living in the United States under Temporary Protected Status.  

In 2019, Eisgruber and higher education leaders across New Jersey sent a letter to the state’s Congressional delegation about the obstacles their institutions face in attracting and retaining international faculty, students and staff. Princeton also expressed concern for international students who continue to be impacted by governmental delays in approving Optional Practical Training (OPT) for employment and internships in the United States.