Office of International Affairs’ response to the Supreme Court’s decision to protect DACA individuals

Eight years ago, former President Barack Obama signed into law legislation that allowed the children of undocumented immigrants living in the United States to avoid deportation. Under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, these young immigrants have been permitted to enjoy many of the freedoms U.S. citizens enjoy, including the right to work and receive an education.

Gallaudet University is grateful for the compassion and foresight of the U.S. Supreme Court for taking action last week to dismiss a challenge to banish DACA and permit these “Dreamers,” as they are aptly called, to continue living in the only country many of them have ever known, and who today are adults who have jobs, are pursuing college degrees, and have started families of their own. 

Gallaudet welcomes “Dreamers” who apply as students, and offers them financial aid alongside others classified as international students. They are accepted as full members of our campus community.

On behalf of our community, we salute the Supreme Court for its courage in upholding the American Dream that has made this country strong. The resolve the majority of the Justices demonstrated in their ruling is particularly timely, as America and other countries reexamine long-standing policies and attitudes towards minorities that marginalize them, preventing them from living without prejudice. It is also timely because it reinforces Gallaudet’s internationalization initiative — IZN — that it has been vigorously pursuing for the past three years to infuse a global perspective into everything we do.

We would like to share with you a statement from Dr. Esther Brimmer, Executive Director and CEO of NAFSA: Association of International Educators, who called the Supreme Court’s decision, “a cause for celebration for DACA recipients, their loved ones and the United States as a whole.” Dr. Brimmer is further quoted in the NAFSA press release that ending DACA would have “irreparable harm” on its recipients and send an “unwelcoming message … to potential international students and scholars considering studying in the United States. Ending DACA would have destroyed futures and undermined families, punishing those who have come forward to contribute their energy and skills to this country.” 

Dr. Brimmer’s closing thoughts perfectly sum up the sentiments the Gallaudet community holds dear: “Like the generations of immigrants who came before them, Dreamers love America and deserve the chance to prosper and thrive.” That is truly “The Gallaudet Way,” embracing Deaf people across the spectrum and around the world, and we will always keep it alive.

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