UNC president calls on Trump to support immigrant students

Posted February 22

UNC President Margaret Spellings

— University of North Carolina President Margaret Spellings is urging the Trump administration not to ensnare young students who came to the U.S. illegally as children in its effort to clamp down on immigration.

In an opinion piece published Tuesday in The Washington Post, Spellings said recent executive orders expanding the scope of deportations have scared numerous UNC students who are part of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, a program started by former President Barack Obama that allows undocumented people brought to the U.S. as children to study and work in the country without fear of deportation.

"Thousands of DACA students are working toward degrees, striving to become the teachers, nurses, business owners and good neighbors our country needs," Spellings wrote. "Now, with immigration policy thrown into disarray, these students are paralyzed, uncertain whether they can safely continue their studies."

In addition to citing her conversations with a woman whose parents brought her to the U.S. when she was 6 now studying for a career in public health, Spellings noted her own experience of trying to make a home in Texas when her parents moved her family there when she was 7.

"These young people were brought to the United States as children, carried along through no decision of their own. They have grown up American – studying and learning in our public schools, celebrating our national holidays, becoming a part of our communities. They’ve made a lifetime of friends and memories here. This is the only home most of them can remember," she wrote.

"The lives and dreams of these students were never meant to be a political statement – they just want the chance to live honestly in the only home they’ve ever known," she continued. "These are our children, raised in our cities and towns and taught in our public schools. They share our hopes and dreams for a better America. Their faith in this country is a blessing, if we have the grace to accept it."


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  • Marianne Tioran Feb 23, 2017
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    Spellings is ignorant, and should educate herself, and set a good example for the rest of UNC.

    this is not the focus of the deportation program...which is removing criminals.

    there will be avenues to become legal if the students are willing...which they should does not kill anyone to obey the law here....if they refuse to become legal, then that is a different matter

  • Mike Trekker Feb 23, 2017
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    NO! When has it becomes the taxpayer's responsibility to pay for other parents' irresponsible actions? The normal American has to save, get scholarships or take out loans to pay for their children's education. Which would be far easier, if we were not overtaxed due to a bunch of liberals buying votes with free goodies, (immigrant education).

  • Amy Whaley Feb 23, 2017
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    View quoted thread

    So, are you saying those who want the laws of the land to be followed are bigots?

  • Mark Hayes Feb 23, 2017
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    How does this woman feel she has the right to say most of what is in this article ?

  • Rudy Bizzell Feb 23, 2017
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    Its not her tax money to spend on illegals fire her

  • John Townsend Feb 23, 2017
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    View quoted thread

    It is a tactical decision to conflate illegal immigrants in with legal immigrants by using the generic term, "immigrants" when referring only to the former and not the latter. I think many on one side of the issue have deluded themselves into the belief that they are up against bigotry and ascribe only bad motivations to the other side. Perhaps the two sides of the larger issue of illegal immigration could come to a compromise but that will be difficult until we can all agree on what the facts are.

  • Alan Ward Feb 23, 2017
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    How many of these illegals are working towards being a legal citizen? I can answer that, very few. If you want to be here legally, go through the process.

  • Michael Bawden Feb 23, 2017
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    And the media wonders why Trump is winning with his FAKE NEWS mantra. WRAL leaves out the word ILLEGAL when talking about illegal immigrants.

  • Dean Morron Feb 23, 2017
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    What part of " illegal " does Ms. Spellings not understand ?

  • Charles Williams Feb 23, 2017
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    Illegal aliens don't need to be here, period.