Letter to President Trump advocating for the continuation of DACA - September 5, 2017

Dear Mr. President:

I write today to join Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, and scores of college and university presidents in Pennsylvania, in their support for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

I am president of Gettysburg College located in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. As you know, there are 800,000 people who benefit from the DACA program, many of whom are enrolled in the nation’s colleges and universities. At Gettysburg, our DACA students consider themselves to be Americans, just like their classmates.  We consider them to be Americans as well.

These students are bright, talented, and hard-working. They are already making great contributions to their communities, our society, and our economy.  They have lived in this country since their childhood, and they have never been convicted of a crime.  They pose no threat to national security.

Mr. President, I live in a town that is steeped in American history, a place where Abraham Lincoln declared that all are created equal. The core values of Gettysburg College are rooted in the worth and dignity of all people—regardless of their country of origin. Stripping these deserving students of a chance to better themselves by ending the DACA program undermines not only the mission of higher education, but the values on which our country was founded.

I write today to ask that you not succumb to the pressure of 10 states’ attorneys general in their call to end the DACA program.  Instead, I ask you to stand up for our nation’s values and those deserving individuals who have come to this country to pursue the American dream. 


Dr. Janet Morgan Riggs
Gettysburg College