Support for Our LGBTQIA+ Community and Dreamers
Dear members of the Northwestern community,
Last week, the Supreme Court rendered two important verdicts. On June 15, it ruled 6-3 that the 1964 Civil Rights Act protects LGBTQIA+ individuals. Then, on June 18, it rejected the current administration’s efforts to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which protects some 650,000 undocumented immigrants who were brought to this country as children.
I applaud these decisions, which are especially meaningful at a moment when our nation has seemed unwelcoming to newcomers, visitors and historically marginalized groups.
But our work is not over. The court’s narrow 5-4 decision in the DACA case suggests that this is more of a temporary reprieve for “Dreamers” than a lasting victory. “The dispute before the court is not whether DHS [the Department of Homeland Security] may rescind DACA,” Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote in the majority opinion. “All parties agree that it may. The dispute is instead primarily about the procedure the agency followed in doing so.”
This, in effect, opens the door for more carefully crafted strategies to annul DACA. It falls on us to continue to seek a viable, permanent solution.
I argued, after the attorney general’s attempt to rescind DACA in 2017, that it would be inhumane to deport hundreds of thousands of immigrants who have grown up here, who study here and who contribute to the fabric of our society. And as an economist, I argued that doing so would be counter not only to our highest values but our own economic interests.
We at Northwestern called then, and we do so again now, for Congress to enact legislation that settles the matter justly, for the long-term.
We have been proud to offer the fullest possible financial aid, resources and support for our Dreamer students, whom we consider fellow Americans in the fullest sense. That will not change. And we will continue to partner with our peers, through the Association of American Universities and other advocacy groups in Washington, D.C., to secure their future. I hope you will join me in expressing support for our Dreamers to our elected representatives.