Community

Teachers, Students and Tech Giants Push Back Against Decision to End DACA

By Jenny Abamu     Sep 5, 2017

Teachers, Students and Tech Giants Push Back Against Decision to End DACA
Supporters of President Obama's DAPA and DACA policies on immigration and deportation gathered at the Supreme Court during oral argument in Washington, DC on April 18, 2016.

Just as many schools and campuses resume after summer break, the Trump Administration ended a program that had allowed hundreds of thousands of students whose parents are undocumented to remain in the US to pursue their studies. The announcement to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program has drawn sharp criticism from leaders in K-12 and higher education, as well as from technology leaders.

DACA, a program started in 2012 by former President Barack Obama, gives youth who were illegally brought to the United States before the age of 16 the opportunity to work, study, gain a driver's license and live in America legally. Those in the program, also called Dreamers, hoped that membership in the DACA program would eventually lead to permanent residency.

In a statement announcing the decision, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions called the program “unconstitutional” and said it would lead to job losses for American citizens. President Donald Trump said in a statement that Congress had the authority to pass legislation similar to DACA (which had been created by an executive order by Obama) and that it should do so. Unless that happens, though, the estimated 800,000 Dreamers could be deported after their status ends, sent to countries in which they have never lived.

Education leaders were some of the loudest opponents of the decision. In Denver, hundreds of students walked out of their classrooms in protest this afternoon, Fox 31 reported. Several teachers’ unions have issued statements and Tweets condemning the action as well.

In Silicon Valley, some of the largest tech giants, including Apple, Microsoft and Facebook have either joined statements condemning the action or issued some of their own. A few edtech leaders, including 2U’s Chip Paucek, Evernote’s Chris O’Neill, After School App’s Jeffrey Collins and Edmodo’s Vibhu Mittal—all signed onto an open letter to President Trump denouncing the decision.

However, Betsy DeVos, the United States Education Secretary, has been noticeably silent on the announcement that promises to affect a significant number of their stakeholders. DeVos did speak on this issue in  an interview back in April, saying undocumented students "shouldn't be concerned" about changes in policy. 

Here’s a sampling of statements from the education community on DACA.

United We Dream offers Dreamers advice.


National Educators Association floods Twitter with statements and protest symbols


Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella‏ pushes Congress to act through a Tweet.


Stanford University President rebuffs Sessions’ comments, saying DACA students support the economy.

“At Stanford, we have seen first-hand that investing in their education is an investment in our country’s future, as they apply their talents to strengthening our society and to driving economic growth,” wrote Stanford University President Marc Tessier-Lavigne.

Rice university president, David W. Leebron, says Trump’s decision only adds to Houston’s problems.

“What strikes me as truly unfathomable is the timing of this decision and its particular impact on Houston at a time of great distress. Houston has the third largest population of foreign born residents in the United States and has accepted more refugees than any other city. The state of Texas has the second largest number of DACA-eligible individuals in the country, and the same is true as a county for our location, Harris County. At the time of a natural disaster like Hurricane Harvey, we are reminded that we are, indeed, “all in one boat.” Those suffering in our city include many immigrants who, whether eligible for DACA or not, were brought to the country as children.” — David W. Leebron, President of Rice University.

Chip Paucek of 2U, Inc says adding his name to an open letter supporting DACA was an easy decision.

"At 2U, we believe in the transformative power of education to change lives and communities in positive ways. Adding our voice to those who support DACA was an easy decision," said Chip Paucek, co-founder and CEO of 2U, Inc., an education technology company.

Vibhu Mittal of Edmodo says his response is not political, but about kids who are impacted. 

"Our support is not about immigration politics; it's about kids being impacted. When kids--and their teachers, and their classmates--are affected, the entire Edmodo community is impacted. We hope Congress can agree upon a permanent solution that helps these kids and our country achieve their full potential."

Community

Teachers, Students and Tech Giants Push Back Against Decision to End DACA

By Jenny Abamu     Sep 5, 2017

Teachers, Students and Tech Giants Push Back Against Decision to End DACA
Supporters of President Obama's DAPA and DACA policies on immigration and deportation gathered at the Supreme Court during oral argument in Washington, DC on April 18, 2016.

Just as many schools and campuses resume after summer break, the Trump Administration ended a program that had allowed hundreds of thousands of students whose parents are undocumented to remain in the US to pursue their studies. The announcement to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program has drawn sharp criticism from leaders in K-12 and higher education, as well as from technology leaders.

DACA, a program started in 2012 by former President Barack Obama, gives youth who were illegally brought to the United States before the age of 16 the opportunity to work, study, gain a driver's license and live in America legally. Those in the program, also called Dreamers, hoped that membership in the DACA program would eventually lead to permanent residency.

In a statement announcing the decision, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions called the program “unconstitutional” and said it would lead to job losses for American citizens. President Donald Trump said in a statement that Congress had the authority to pass legislation similar to DACA (which had been created by an executive order by Obama) and that it should do so. Unless that happens, though, the estimated 800,000 Dreamers could be deported after their status ends, sent to countries in which they have never lived.

Education leaders were some of the loudest opponents of the decision. In Denver, hundreds of students walked out of their classrooms in protest this afternoon, Fox 31 reported. Several teachers’ unions have issued statements and Tweets condemning the action as well.

In Silicon Valley, some of the largest tech giants, including Apple, Microsoft and Facebook have either joined statements condemning the action or issued some of their own. A few edtech leaders, including 2U’s Chip Paucek, Evernote’s Chris O’Neill, After School App’s Jeffrey Collins and Edmodo’s Vibhu Mittal—all signed onto an open letter to President Trump denouncing the decision.

However, Betsy DeVos, the United States Education Secretary, has been noticeably silent on the announcement that promises to affect a significant number of their stakeholders. DeVos did speak on this issue in  an interview back in April, saying undocumented students "shouldn't be concerned" about changes in policy. 

Here’s a sampling of statements from the education community on DACA.

United We Dream offers Dreamers advice.


National Educators Association floods Twitter with statements and protest symbols


Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella‏ pushes Congress to act through a Tweet.


Stanford University President rebuffs Sessions’ comments, saying DACA students support the economy.

“At Stanford, we have seen first-hand that investing in their education is an investment in our country’s future, as they apply their talents to strengthening our society and to driving economic growth,” wrote Stanford University President Marc Tessier-Lavigne.

Rice university president, David W. Leebron, says Trump’s decision only adds to Houston’s problems.

“What strikes me as truly unfathomable is the timing of this decision and its particular impact on Houston at a time of great distress. Houston has the third largest population of foreign born residents in the United States and has accepted more refugees than any other city. The state of Texas has the second largest number of DACA-eligible individuals in the country, and the same is true as a county for our location, Harris County. At the time of a natural disaster like Hurricane Harvey, we are reminded that we are, indeed, “all in one boat.” Those suffering in our city include many immigrants who, whether eligible for DACA or not, were brought to the country as children.” — David W. Leebron, President of Rice University.

Chip Paucek of 2U, Inc says adding his name to an open letter supporting DACA was an easy decision.

"At 2U, we believe in the transformative power of education to change lives and communities in positive ways. Adding our voice to those who support DACA was an easy decision," said Chip Paucek, co-founder and CEO of 2U, Inc., an education technology company.

Vibhu Mittal of Edmodo says his response is not political, but about kids who are impacted. 

"Our support is not about immigration politics; it's about kids being impacted. When kids--and their teachers, and their classmates--are affected, the entire Edmodo community is impacted. We hope Congress can agree upon a permanent solution that helps these kids and our country achieve their full potential."

Next In Community

Next in Community

STAY UP TO DATE ON EDTECH
News, research, and opportunities - sent weekly.
STAY UP TO DATE ON EDTECH
News, research, and opportunities - sent weekly.