Connecticut colleges, universities sign letter to congress to protect DACA students

HARTFORD — The Trump administration on Tuesday formally announced the end of DACA, in response, colleges, universities in Connecticut has signed a letter Friday to congress that will protect DACA students.

Mark E. Ojakian, President, Connecticut State Colleges & Universities said the news is heartbreaking and will have a devastating impact on some of the state’s best students.

“There are some 800,000 young men and women protected by DACA nationwide, many of them here in Connecticut. These DACA students were brought as children to the United States and for many of them, Connecticut is the only place they’ve called home,” said Ojakian.

Ojakian said they are doing all that they can in Connecticut to provide the resources for their DACA students, but what is “needed most” is the permanent protection that only people in the state can provide.

“That is why I am urging you today to take action with your colleagues on both sides of the aisle to find a way to ensure the protections and pathway to citizenship that these young people deserve are passed into law. To that end, I offer my assistance both in Connecticut and in Washington D.C. to help you advocate and advance legislation on behalf of our students,” said Ojakian.

Ojakian said they are very proud of their DACA students and are doing everything that is expected of them despite the fear of knowing their families may be deported at any moment.

A day after the DACA announcement, President Donald Trump said he has “no second thoughts” on his decision.

The move sets a clock for Congress to act to preserve the program’s protections before the DACA recipients begin losing their status March 5, 2018. No one’s DACA status will be revoked before it expires, administration officials said, and any applications already received by Tuesday will be processed.

Anyone who’s status expires by March 5 has one month to apply for a new two-year permit, and those applications will be processed.

If Congress were not to act, and DACA begins to expire, nearly 300,000 people could begin to lose their status in 2018, and more than 320,000 would lose their status from January to August 2019. More than 200,000 recipients have their DACA expiring in the window that DHS will allow renewal.

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** CNN contributed to this report **