The following letter from Oglethorpe President Lawrence M. Schall was sent to President Donald J. Trump in support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program:
September 1, 2017
The President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. President,
In 1732, James Edward Oglethorpe established the colony of Georgia as a humanitarian refuge. Today, Georgia and Atlanta are a gateway to the world and a refuge for people seeking a better life. Oglethorpe University, named for our state’s founder, is no exception.
As proclaimed in our mission, we educate students to be citizens in a global world. Our students hail from 32 states and 33 countries, and half are non-white or of international origin. Children of undocumented immigrants, under the protection of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, contribute to our community in countless ways while fulfilling their dreams of a college degree. Historically, some of our best and brightest students have come to this country as immigrants and refugees. You have previously stated that these are “incredible kids,” a statement with which I wholeheartedly agree.
In recent months, however, many of these “DREAMers” in our community have expressed fear, confusion and uncertainty over the future of their DACA status. These students, and the 750,000 others in our country, have only known lives as Americans. By furthering their education, they will contribute billions of dollars to our economy and add to the rich fabric of our society.
In that spirit, I urge you not to repeal, but to preserve the DACA program and maintain the commitment our country has made to provide these young men and women with a bright future.
Lawrence M. Schall, J.D., Ed.D.