Dr. Jack Bermingham, Highline College President, has joined more than 200 other college and university presidents in an effort to protect some students from possible deportation.

Bermingham added his name to a letter urging President-elect Donald J. Trump and his incoming administration to continue and expand the Deferred Action for Child Arrivals program. DACA is an immigration policy that provides temporary relief from deportation and a two-year work permit for undocumented young people who came to the United States as children.

Inside Higher Ed reported “more than 700,000 young people who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children have registered with the federal government in exchange for temporary relief from the possibility of deportation and a two-year renewable work permit.”

The letter was organized by Pomona College President David Oxtoby and released Nov. 21. You can read the whole letter here or below.

Statement in Support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program and our Undocumented Immigrant Students

The core mission of higher education is the advancement of knowledge, people, and society. As educational leaders, we are committed to upholding free inquiry and education in our colleges and universities, and to providing the opportunity for all our students to pursue their learning and life goals.

Since the advent of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in 2012, we have seen the critical benefits of this program for our students, and the highly positive impacts on our institutions and communities. DACA beneficiaries on our campuses have been exemplary student scholars and student leaders, working across campus and in the community. With DACA, our students and alumni have been able to pursue opportunities in business, education, high tech, and the non-profit sector; they have gone to medical school, law school, and graduate schools in numerous disciplines. They are actively contributing to their local communities and economies.

To our country’s leaders we say that DACA should be upheld, continued, and expanded. We are prepared to meet with you to present our case. This is both a moral imperative and a national necessity. America needs talent – and these students, who have been raised and educated in the United States, are already part of our national community. They represent what is best about America, and as scholars and leaders they are essential to the future.

We call on our colleagues and other leaders across the business, civic, religious, and non-profit sectors to join with us in this urgent matter.