University of Maryland President Wallace Loh joined the 13 other Big Ten presidents in signing a letter urging congressional leaders to pass a replacement for DACA.
The letter signed by Loh calls on party leadership in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives to pass a “long-term legislative solution as soon as possible.”
[Read more: Protesters block traffic at UMD’s ‘M’ Circle to defend DACA]
“The stories we hear on our campuses are troubling—high achieving young adults with uncertain futures. They are nurses, engineers, and pharmacy students. They are student athletes, leaders in music programs, and active across campus,” the letter, dated Dec. 12, read.
Loh said the Big Ten has been a helpful organization when it comes to lobbying on behalf of this university.
“[The Big Ten presidents] lobby together … We go to Congress, and I help them get access to people like Steny Hoyer and Ben Cardin, and they help get me access to members of Congress from their states, you know, Wisconsin, Ohio, where there are important members of Congress,” Loh said. “That’s one of the great benefits of the Big Ten — the ACC never did that.”
In September, President Trump announced his intention to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals legislation, which protects some undocumented immigrants who arrived in the country illegally as children. He gave Congress until March to come up with a replacement policy before DACA protections would be rescinded.
“#BigTen presidents stand together for Dreamers and advocated in unison for #DACA legislative solution,” Loh tweeted Thursday with the signed letter.
As of this fall, 132 students protected by DACA attend this university.
[Read more: ‘Undocumented and unafraid’: For DACA students at UMD, studying and living requires resilience]
After Trump’s announcement, Laura Bohorquez, this university’s undocumented student coordinator, said she’d had a surge in requests for meetings from affected students.
In October, ProtectUMD, a coalition of student organizations on the campus, requested the university hire a full-time immigration lawyer. University President Wallace Loh said in October that this university was “not yet at the point of considering” the option, but that it should be explored further.