President Schill calls for protection of ‘Dreamers’ in op-ed

UO President Michael Schill

UO President Michael H. Schill defended children and young adults protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in a recent guest column in The Oregonian.

Approximately 800,000 “Dreamers,” undocumented immigrants who entered the U.S. as minors, received deferred action from deportation and eligibility for work permits under the now-rescinded DACA program. “Dreamers” refers to the proposed DREAM Act, which would have provided similar protections but was never approved by Congress.

In the Oct. 29 op-ed, Schill writes that Dreamers are being treated as “pawns in a political battle.” The Trump administration announced Oct. 8 that it will only extend DACA if Congress passes legislation to construct a border wall and crack down on sanctuary cities.

“At the UO, we support our DACA students,” Schill writes. “We have provided administrative assistance, moral support, legal advice and assurances that university law enforcement will not act on behalf of federal immigration agents without a court order. But none of this is enough to provide the certainty these students need to focus on schoolwork and plan for the future. Congress must act.”

Around 11,000 DACA enrollees live in Oregon.

“I have met many of these Dreamers. They are Oregon’s sons and daughters,” Schill writes. “They work hard; they believe in our nation and its institutions. They inspire me. Congress and the president must remove the threat of deportation and codify DACA with no further delay.”

For more, see “Making hostages out of Dreamers in a battle over borders” in the Oregonian.

Schill began his tenure at the UO in July 2015. He is the university’s 18th president. The author or co-author of three books and 40 scholarly articles, his work centers around property, real estate and housing law and policy.