August 30, 2017

The Honorable Donald J. Trump
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

In the face of reports that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA) may be eliminated, I write to express the strongest possible support for its continuation and to urge you to protect and defend it. As you know, there are currently 800,000 young people who are pursuing their dreams in the United States because of this program, which allows them to work, pursue an education, and give back to the country they call home without the looming threat of deportation.  The benefits accrue not merely to them, but to the nation as a whole. The DACA program gives our educational institutions and workplaces access to the talent, creativity, and determination of hundreds of thousands of people who are Americans in all but immigration status.  And they add millions of dollars to the nation’s economy.

Our classrooms at Amherst are enriched by the academic talent, hard work, and perspectives of DACA students who go on to become doctors, teachers, engineers, and artists. Like so many thousands of others, they are in the U.S. because their parents dreamt of raising them in a country where parental circumstances would not constrain their children’s potential.  This core value has defined the lives of generations of Americans and attracted the best and brightest from around the world.  It is a foundation of our strength as a nation and a principle that has knit us together no matter where else we disagree.

Thousands of young people need your help to remain and succeed in the only home many have ever known.  Please do not let them down or deprive us as a nation of their presence and its reflection of who we are.


Biddy Martin