Letters advocating support for the Dream Act of 2019 and SECURE Act – August 8, 2019

The following letter was sent to Senator Casey and Senator Toomey:

Every year, Gettysburg College seeks to admit a student body that will help foster a dynamic educational environment and that will equip our graduates with the skills and passion to make a difference in society. We do so by looking for students from diverse backgrounds and beliefs. We also look for students who have demonstrated resiliency, the pursuit of excellence, and a commitment to service.

Undocumented students embody these characteristics. They have overcome structural obstacles to earn a spot at a highly selective institution such as Gettysburg. They are ambitious, seeking to take the full measure of their education and to assume leadership roles–whether in the arts, sciences, government, law, or business–when they graduate. Their life experiences, and the perspectives they bring to campus as a result, powerfully contribute to the rich tapestry from which effective learning occurs. In short, they are essential members of a vibrant educational community.

They deserve our support and reassurance that their pursuit of the emblematic American dream—advancement through education—will not be taken away. I am therefore writing in my capacity as the president of Gettysburg College to urge you to cosponsor the Dream Act of 2019 (S.874) and the SECURE Act (S.879).

As you may know, the Dream Act of 2019 would establish a roadmap to citizenship for upwards of 1.7 million Dreamers. According to a February 2019 Gallup poll, 81% of the American people support creating a roadmap to citizenship for undocumented immigrants currently residing in our country. The SECURE Act would establish a roadmap to citizenship for upwards of 437,000 Temporary Protected Status (TPS) & Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) holders. With the continued existence of DACA, TPS, and DED at risk, and the House’s passage of the Dream and Promise Act of 2019 (H.R. 6), the Senate must act quickly and in a bipartisan manner to protect these populations.

As a leader of a higher education institution, I am keenly aware of the need for permanent protections for immigrant students, staff, faculty, and their families. I urge you to support both of these bills and work with the Senate to bring both bills for a vote.

For further context, I have enclosed a copy of an April 24, 2019 letter from the Steering Committee for the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration.

I would be pleased to answer any questions you or your staffs may have.

Very truly yours,

Robert W. Iuliano