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College presidents appeal to homeland security for meeting on 'dreamers'


Immigration supporters are seen outside the Supreme Court April 18, 2016. On May 23, more than 65 college presidents representing U.S. Catholic institutions asked for a meeting with the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security about the Trump administration's policy on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, known as DACA. (CNS photo/Michael Reynolds, EPA)

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WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Worried about the fate of some of their students, more than 65 college presidents representing U.S. Catholic institutions asked for a meeting with the Secretary of Homeland Security to talk about immigration policy.

"As leaders of Catholic colleges and universities, we are dedicated to educating students from all backgrounds. In keeping with this commitment, many of our institutions are home to young men and women who are undocumented and have met the criteria for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). We are deeply concerned about the futures of our undocumented students," said the May 23 letter addressed to Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly.

In the letter, they cited incidents in which DACA recipients have been placed under immigration detention, including a case in which one of them was deported, and said that "recent actions and statements by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) about young people who met the DACA criteria raise many questions about the safety of our students." They referred in particular to a tweet from ICE that said: "DACA is not a protected legal status, but active DACA recipients are typically a lower level of enforcement priority."

Addressing Kelly, they said: "implementation of immigration enforcement policies falls under your discretion. We respectfully request a meeting with you to better understand how enforcement agencies are approaching DACA holders."

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