January 17, 2018

Eisgruber, Microsoft Urge Congress Action On DACA DREAMers

By Donald Gilpin

Princeton University President Christopher L. Eisgruber and Microsoft President Bradford L. Smith have teamed up to send letters to top leaders and other members of Congress urging them to act quickly to provide long-term protection, including a path to citizenship, for DREAMers.

“The time has come for immediate and urgent action by Congress,” wrote Eisgruber and Smith, as the future of DREAMers hangs in the balance against a backdrop of ongoing negotiations on Capitol Hill and President Trump’s Sunday tweet that “DACA is probably dead because the Democrats don’t really want it.” 

In the 47 letters sent to New Jersey and Washington state delegations, leaders of the Senate and House of Representatives, Princeton alumni in Congress, and others, Eisgruber and Smith continued, “Princeton and Microsoft have joined together on behalf of recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program because we see vividly and personally how much they have to offer. At Princeton, DACA recipients are among our most accomplished and respected students, and at Microsoft they serve in critical roles and make countless contributions to our company. These young people deserve the opportunity not only to remain in the United States, which for many is the only home they have known, but to be reassured that their devotion to this country is welcomed and valued.”

Last week, following the temporary nationwide injunction blocking the Trump administration’s decision to end the DACA program, Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-12) met with New Jersey DACA recipients and released the following statement: “This recent court decision is not a real solution; the only real relief they will get will be from legislation passed by Congress and signed by the president. In both chambers of Congress, there is clear support for the DREAM Act С it must be brought up for a vote and with the progress that DACA initiated, we must work toward comprehensive immigration reform that ensures the American dream continues to be attainable for all.”

Coleman described the DREAMers as “an essential thread in the fabric of our nation.” According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, New Jersey had 22,024 DACA recipients through March 31, 2017. It would lose approximately $1.6 billion every year in its gross domestic product if DACA is repealed, according to New Jersey Policy Perspective.

In November, Princeton University, one of its students, and Microsoft filed a separate legal challenge to the DACA termination, alleging in U.S. District Court that DACA’s termination violated the U.S. Constitution and federal laws.

“With less than two months before the program is scheduled to end,” Eisgruber and Smith wrote to Congress, “legislation is needed now, particularly considering the significant administrative requirements of implementing any new system. There is no reason — and no time — to delay.”