The Coast News Group

Palomar, MiraCosta colleges urge Congress to protect ‘Dreamers’

REGION — An alliance of San Diego and Imperial county community colleges — which included MiraCosta and Palomar colleges — have called on Congress to extend protection status for students covered under the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, better known as “Dreamers.”

The chief executive officers of the San Diego and Imperial Counties Community College Association unanimously approved a resolution calling for such actions and espousing its support of all students, including DACA recipients, at a Sept. 11 meeting in San Diego.

“The San Diego and Imperial Counties Community College Association is unwavering in its support for all students and will continue to work diligently to ensure all students, regardless of their immigration status, feel welcome and supported at our colleges,” the resolution states.

Palomar College President Joi Lin Blake, who serves as the association’s president, said the resolution reaffirms the regional community college network’s support of dreamers, who have come under fire with the current presidential administration’s decision to eliminate the program after a six-month period to allow Congress to pass reform.

“With this SDICCCA resolution, presidents at all of the community colleges in San Diego and Imperial counties reaffirm our steadfast resolve to provide the support and resources necessary so that all our students, regardless of immigration status, are able to pursue their higher education dreams,” Blake said.

The Obama Administration established the DACA program in June 2012 for eligible immigrants who were brought to this country without proper documentation when they were children. DACA status protects recipients from deportation and provides them with a work permit for two years, subject to renewal.