Graceland University President Patricia H. Draves is among more than 800 other college and university presidents who have signed a letter sent to United States Senate and House leaders urging Congress to take action that would permanently protect Dreamers.
“Graceland encourages our students to be advocates on issues that are meaningful to them, and I feel it is important to take a stand and to use my voice for people who may not be able to use their own,” commented President Draves. “This letter allowed me with 800 college presidents to do just that on an issue that affects the Graceland family and hundreds of thousands of others.
The letter states, in part, “Colleges and universities have seen these remarkable people up close, in our classrooms and as our colleagues and friends. Despite the challenges they face, they have made incredible contributions to our country and its economy and security. They should continue to be able to do so. If we are unable to protect these Dreamers, we will be shutting the door to an entire generation of individuals who seek to contribute their best to America.”
This fall, professors Tim Robbins and Adam Martin, along with students and other faculty, continued efforts on the Graceland Lamoni campus to encourage Graceland to take an official stand as a university that recognizes and supports the individuals in the U.S. affected by the rescindment of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy.
Jaime Reyes, a current Graceland student, has been active in this pursuit. He had this to say about President Draves’ decision to include her signature as Graceland’s president, “We are very fortunate to live in a community that’s strength is found in the power of together. As students, we often feel our voices aren’t heard, when in reality we have the power to move mountains — even by taking a stance of solidarity with our brothers and sisters affected by the DACA turmoil.”
This appeal by college and university presidents follows a similar action by business and industry leaders as well as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and offers a bipartisan willingness to work with Congress to act as soon as possible.