FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM JULY 23, 2019 • THE QUEENS COURIER 23
kids & education
Queens College president calls for inclusion
of DACA students in CARES Act funding
BY CARLOTTA MOHAMED
Queens College President Frank Wu is
urging the inclusion of Deferred Action
for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients
in the grants under the Coronavirus Aid,
Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
Wu released a statement on Tuesday,
July 14, in response to the United States
Department of Education’s interim fi nal
rule on eligibility status of students at
institutions of higher education for funds
under the CARES Act. Comments on the
rule are accepted by July 17.
Th e CARES Act provides fast and direct
economic assistance for American workers,
families and small businesses, and
preserves jobs for American industries.
However, the Trump administration
refused to allow undocumented students
to receive any of the federal relief funds
provided by the CARES Act.
“At this challenging moment in our
history, the CARES Act is much needed.
It would be a shame for this legislation
to prove divisive rather than unifying,”
Citing “profound humanitarian and
moral reasons” to provide for DACA
recipients, Wu references “a compelling
practical argument” — that “in study
aft er study, empirical data overwhelmingly
shows that immigrants, including those
who are eligible for DACA, contribute
more to society than they take.”
“Th e premise that immigrants, documented
or not, create a net economic loss
for the nation is completely false. Quite
the opposite: In the aggregate and on
average, immigrants, even those who lack
appropriate documentation, are a plus,”
Wu said. “Queens College professors have
off ered evidence for the facts presented
here; their study is in the appendix.”
Under the most recent Supreme Court
decision, DACA recipients have a continued
right to remain in the United States.
Wu said the Department of Education
should consider the direct and indirect
economic eff ects of excluding DACA
recipients from CARES Act grants.
“Deprived of these grants, DACA students
will be unable to access the higher
education that prepares them to become
productive members of society,” Wu said.
“However, given minimal aid, they will
not only avoid unemployment and underemployment,
but they will also play meaningful
roles in rebuilding sectors devastated
by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
According to Wu, it’s especially true in
Queens — a borough that was hardest hit
in the early phases of the health crisis and,
not coincidentally, is populated by many
newcomers, among them “Dreamers” in
families of mixed status.
“Contrary to stereotypes, people of
European and Asian heritage are heavily
represented among DACA students, as are
people of African and Caribbean descent;
Chinese who were ‘paper sons’ were among
the original ‘illegal’ immigrants a century
ago,” Wu said. “Whatever their background,
DACA recipients do well.”
Wu referenced two prominent graduate
students who arrived in the U.S. without
documentation and dedicated themselves
to improving the lives of others: U.S.
Representative Adriano Espaillat, who
represents New York’s 13th Congressional
District, and immigration reform activist
Cristina Jimenez Moreta, winner of a
MacArthur Foundation Award, the socalled
“For role models, our students look to
the college’s highly accomplished alumni,
credited in a recent study with contributing
$1.5 billion to the regional economy
and holding leadership roles in every
fi eld,” Wu said.
Photo courtesy of Queens College
Queens College students have traced
their ancestry to nearly 140 countries
and at home speak 83 languages, Wu
said. About a third of the school’s undergraduates
are foreign born, lending their
perspectives to a campus that cherishes
inquiry independent thought.
“As an institution that has educated
immigrants and the children of immigrants
since it was founded in 1937,
Queens College values the Dreamers.
Th ey embody our mission and refl ect the
borough we serve so proudly,” Wu said.