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Letter from University System of Maryland Chancellor Caret to the Maryland Congressional Delegation Regarding Support for DACA

Sept. 5, 2017

Dear Members of Congress:

As the leaders of Maryland's public system of higher education, we write today to urge you to support legislation that would maintain and extend the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

Launched in 2012, DACA enables hundreds of thousands of talented young people brought to the United States as children to fully participate in, and contribute to, America's economy and society. Marylanders participating in the DACA program are our neighbors, our students and our friends; are often indistinguishable from any other member of our community; and enrich our state and our campuses immeasurably.

America's continued greatness is tied directly to our ability and willingness as a nation to educate and harness the talents of every member of our community. We have been doing that in Maryland, where thousands of Dreamers have grown up alongside our children, thrived in our schools, earned admission to our public universities, graduated and, as young adults, become valued members of our communities. Educating every qualified student, regardless of background, is an essential component of the University System of Maryland's strategy to foster a highly skilled workforce that will help attract and create jobs.

As Maryland, along with every state and city across our country, increasingly competes in a global marketplace for jobs and talent, we cannot afford to shun the talent we have already fostered at home. Having invested in these young people for years, it is imperative that we empower those who have already graduated from college to put their knowledge and skills to use on behalf of our state and nation, and enable those yet to graduate to complete their studies so they can do the same.

The other option is unthinkable. Instead of helping our state flourish, repealing DACA would force these young Marylanders to squander their abilities and to live on the sidelines of our society, in constant fear of being deported from the only country and state many have ever known.

USM is committed to creating educational opportunities for all qualified students. In so doing, we expect to enhance individual lives while growing our state's economy. To that end, we appeal to you to support our students — past, present and future — as well as our future prosperity as a state and a nation, by maintaining the DACA program.

Sincerely yours,

Robert L. Caret

Chancellor

Last Published 9/7/17