September 11, 2017
Senator Robert Menendez
Senator Cory Booker
Congressman Donald Norcross
Congressman Frank A. LoBiondo
Congressman Tom MacArthur
Congressman Christopher H. Smith
Congressman Josh Gottheimer
Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr.
Congressman Leonard Lance
Congressman Albio Sires
Congressman Bill Pascrell
Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr.
Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen
Congresswoman Bonnie Watson-Coleman
Washington, DC 20515
Dear New Jersey Congressional Delegation:
On behalf of the Montclair State University community, I write to express the University’s strong support for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Given President Trump’s recent decision to rescind the provisions of DACA, it is critical that Congress act expeditiously, with wisdom, compassion, and a clear vision of the founding concepts of our nation, to, at the very least, preserve the protections of the current DACA program. Not to take such positive action would cause unconscionable damage to young people who have called New Jersey their home for most of their lives.
As a University community, together with the overwhelming voice of colleges and universities in this state and across this nation, we call on you, as New Jersey’s Congressional delegation, to provide leadership to a bipartisan effort to create a legislative solution that enables New Jersey’s and the nation’s young “dreamers” to continue to pursue their education, to support themselves and their families, and to do so in an environment free from fear of deportation and family separation. We are talking about children who have grown up in our neighborhoods and gone to our schools; children who have been the friends of our children and studied with them and played baseball with them; children who have grown up celebrating Thanksgiving and Independence Day with us; children who have now grown into young adults, contributing in many ways to our communities and willing to work hard to prepare themselves for a constructive role in the state and the nation that they have long called their home.
As President of New Jersey’s second-largest university, with a student population that reflects the great diversity of this state, I have witnessed firsthand the power of higher education to engage students and prepare them for a lifetime of participation in our democracy. The power to restore DACA, and, in fact, to make it even better, is now in your hands. With great respect for what I know to be your genuine desire to serve the people who you represent, I urge you, speaking for a community of thousands of students and educators, to provide the leadership needed to protect our DACA students and, by so doing, to protect the moral integrity of our state and our nation.
As a University community, we stand ready to assist you in any way that we can.
Susan A. Cole