UVM President: We Will Support DACA Students

BURLINGTON, Vt. - The leader of Vermont’s largest university wants “dreamer” students to know he is with them.

University of Vermont President Tom Sullivan says UVM will continue to support DACA students and will set them up with immigration lawyers, if necessary.

Last week, President Trump announced Congress has six months to pass legislation to protect undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children from deportation.

If not, the Obama-era program, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program, better known as DACA, will end.

UVM’s president says there are several DACA recipients studying at the university but he could not specif how many.

One of the students is Juan Conde, a 31-year old medical student who came to the U.S. with his mother and brother when he was 9 years old.

He grew up in Eagles Pass, TX.

"We arrived to this new land, we learned a new language, we learned to sing the star spangled banner and to call this our home,” he said.

His mother died of salivary gland cancer in 2007 which sparked his passion for medicine and cancer research.

Because of DACA, he says he was able to undertake the last step in his training to become a physician.

He moved to Burlington at the beginning of this school year.

"What DACA meant for me: it meant that America still believed in the strength of dreams, that my country had a place for me here,” said Conde. “The American people are my people and I know the hearts of the American people."

"They are working. They are serving in our military and they are our students,” said UVM President Tom Sullivan about DACA recipients. “To deport them under any prior or present circumstance raises grave legal,  moral, humanitarian and economic consequences for our country."

Rep. Peter Welch (D - Vt.) pledged to whatever he can to make sure Congress passes legislation to protect dreamers against deportation.

He says he does not support a bill that would lump DACA in with funding for the border wall.


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