Washington, DC Higher Ed Association and Orlando Students Pressure Congress to Protect Vulnerable Students
Relief for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders and continued support for Puerto Rico and DACA
Orlando, FL – In a session titled, “Education, Interrupted: Students in the Crosshairs of Crises, Policy, & Politics,” William Gil, Director, Government Relations, American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers, asked nearly 2,000 AACRAO members to pull out their phones and take action on behalf of displaced and vulnerable students. Framed by displaced students, Kevin Ortiz from Lagos de Moreno of Jalisco Mexico, Claudia Sofia Baez Sola from Caguas, Puerto Rico, and Karen Caudillo from Mexico as well as administrators from Valencia College (Dr. Kathleen Plinske, Campus President – Osceola, Lake Nona and Poinciana Campuses ) and University of Central Florida (Dr. Adrienne Frame, Associate Vice President and Dean of Students), Gil mobilized AACRAO members to get engaged and become part of the process for change for students affected by:
AACRAO members asked their U.S. Senators and Representatives to swiftly pass legislation to provide a permanent pathway to citizenship for the individuals who are suddenly faced with deportation to a country they no longer call home. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently announced plans to end TPS for immigrants from El Salvador, Haiti, Sudan, and Nicaragua. Additionally, the agency will decide later this year whether to extend TPS for five other nations: Syria, Nepal, Honduras, Yemen, and Somalia.
- The significant scale back on the number of immigrants granted Temporary Protected Status (TPS)
AACRAO members asked their U.S. Senators and Representatives to continue their support of recovery efforts in Puerto Rico. Nearly five months after the hurricane, the lack of electricity, running water, and reliable communications remain central challenges to the Caribbean island as it struggles to return to a semblance of normal life. Roughly a third of Puerto Rico's residents—some 1.2 million people—are still living without electricity. In February, Congress passed a disaster recovery package that provided $16 billion in aid for Puerto Rico. The island also received some funds from the two emergency disaster packages that were passed in September and October. However, more assistance is needed.
- Hurricane Maria and its effect on Puerto Rico
AACRAO members asked their U.S. Senators and Representatives to pass legislation creating a path to citizenship for DACA recipients. Since June 2012, nearly 800,000 of these young people who came to the United States as children have come forward, passed background checks, and received permission to live and work in America. With DACA, they have advanced their education, started small businesses, and more fully established themselves as integral members of our society. They are Americans in every way but immigration status. If we are unable to pass legislation on this issue, we will be shutting the door to an entire generation of individuals who seek to contribute to our great nation. It clearly is in America's best interest to enable these individuals to use their knowledge, skills, and energy to better themselves as well as the country.
- The lack of movement on legislation protecting Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients
To join AACRAO members in their support of Displaced and Vulnerable Students, visit AACRAO's Advocacy Center.
AACRAO is a non-profit, voluntary, professional association of more than 11,000 higher education professionals representing approximately 2,600 institutions in more than 40 countries. Its commitment to the professional development of its members includes best practice guidance on admissions strategies to meet institutional diversity objectives, delivery of academic programs in innovative ways to meet the needs of a changing student body, and exemplary approaches to student retention and completion.