Colorado Mountain College signs amicus brief in support of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients as DACA heads to the Supreme Court
Colorado Mountain College President and CEO Carrie Hauser issued the following statement today on the filing of an amicus brief in support of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and the consolidated cases in front of the U.S. Supreme Court, urging the court to stand in support of DACA recipients:
“On October 4, 2019, Colorado Mountain College joined over 165 colleges and universities from across the country in signing an amicus brief supporting over 700,000 young immigrants who came to the United States as children and who are entitled to protection under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. This “friend of the court” brief was coordinated by the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration.
“DACA recipients are American in every way; they built their lives here and contribute to our state and region, our campuses and communities, and our local economies every day. Our college – which has been open and accessible to all students since its founding in 1965 – is proud to support DACA recipients; we believe in standing up for and protecting vulnerable populations when their futures are in question.
“DACA provided work authorization and protection from deportation to numerous Dreamers, enabling them to better support themselves and their families financially, build their careers, sustain a healthy workforce, and access higher education. If this vital program is rescinded, DACA recipients will lose their ability to work and study legally, will be forced from their jobs, and will be subject to immediate deportation. The Supreme Court should agree with what federal courts across the country have made clear: the administration’s decision to terminate DACA was unlawful and has caused irreparable damage to Dreamers and their families and loved ones, as well as to our higher education institutions.”
Fund Sueños receives $500,000 gift
In addition, today an anonymous donor has joined other funders by making a $500,000 gift to the CMC Foundation in support of the college’s Fund Sueños income-share agreement program. Fund Sueños, which is in its second year as a pilot program at the college, offers income-share agreements to Dreamers and others who have U.S. work authorization but are ineligible to receive federal financial assistance to attend college.
“Fund Sueños is the first program of its kind in the nation, and it is funded entirely through the generosity of donors to the CMC Foundation. These philanthropists share our commitment to all students, regardless of background, nationality or socioeconomic status,” said Kristin Heath Colon, CEO of the CMC Foundation. “We are honored to receive such a significant donation to expand and improve this transformational program.”
Since 2012, DACA has been extraordinarily successful, offering temporary protection from deportation and the ability to work legally to more than 700,000 immigrants who came to the United States as young children or babies. The program has benefited these Dreamers, including our students, their families, their communities, and our economy. Colorado suffers from a structural deficit in college graduates and skilled workers. There are not enough educated and well-trained people in our state to meet workforce demands and sustain Colorado’s thriving economy; Dreamers are helping to fill that workforce need, without displacing other workers.
On September 5, 2017, the administration announced that they were terminating the DACA program, jeopardizing the futures of hundreds of thousands of young people. In the past two years, multiple courts have kept renewals ongoing for current DACA recipients, but Dreamers have still been forced to live court case to court case, uncertain about their futures and in fear of being separated from their families and the lives they have built over decades in the United States.
The future of DACA — and the futures of hundreds of thousands of Dreamers — will be argued at the U.S. Supreme Court on Nov. 12, 2019. The court could hand down a ruling as soon as February 2020 determining if Dreamers will lose the ability to live, study, and work in the United States.
About Colorado Mountain College
Founded in 1965, Colorado Mountain College provides a diverse range of learning opportunities at its 11 campuses and learning locations throughout the state’s north-central mountain region, as well as online. The college offers over 125 certificates and degrees and is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. From high school students earning college credit, to adults learning English or preparing for a high school equivalency exam or GED, to students of any age earning certificates or associate and bachelor’s degrees, to local residents passionate about lifelong learning, Colorado Mountain College plays an intrinsic role in the lives and communities it touches.
The U.S. Department of Education has ranked Colorado Mountain College among the country’s most affordable public colleges offering bachelor’s degrees. In both 2018 and 2019, the college was named “Top Adventure College” following a readers’ poll from Elevation Outdoors magazine.