February 13, 2018
Leader Charles SchumerUnited States SenateWashington, D.C. 20510
Dear Speaker Ryan, Leader McConnell, Leader Schumer and Leader Pelosi:
As Chancellor of the Dallas County Community College District (DCCCD), the largest community college district in Texas, I am writing to urge Congress to act immediately and pass permanent bipartisan legislation that protects the status of the individuals in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
Nearly 800,000 minors — also known as Dreamers — were brought to the United States through no fault of their own, have met the strict requirements to participate in DACA and are integral members of our colleges, society and economy. Many of these individuals are seeking to better themselves through education, and further contribute to and strengthen our country.
A majority of Americans support legislation to protect DACA recipients. Texas has the second largest DACA population, and the Dallas Ft. Worth area is home to the most DACA recipients -approximately 36,000. At DCCCD, all our seven colleges are Hispanic Serving Institutions, and we are educating and preparing approximately 2,000 DACA students to join the workforce because 65% of jobs in Dallas County require a 2- or 4-year degree.
Studies by the Cato Institute have determined that over a ten-year window, the repeal of DACA could cost the U.S. economy a $215 billion loss in GDP. In Texas, the overall cost could be $2 billion. We can't afford to lose our students, neighbors, co-workers, family or friends.
I've been in higher education over 40 years, and I have seen firsthand the contributions these talented, young individuals bring to our classrooms, our campuses and our communities. We want to provide all students, including DACA students, every opportunity to succeed.
On behalf of our over 150,000 students, thank you for your leadership and your efforts to address this critical issue.
Joe D. MayChancellor
Read Dr. May's DACA letter to congressional leaders in PDF format (PDF - 424KB)