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Northern Essex Signs Amicus Brief Supporting DACA Students

Submitted by on February 1, 2024 – 7:31 pm

Amicus Brief with 168 Colleges, Universities, and Non-Profit Organizations Highlights New and Emerging Data on Contributions of DACA Recipients

Haverhill, MA (February 1, 2024) – Today, Northern Essex Community College proudly joins 168 colleges and universities nationwide by endorsing an amicus brief filed in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals for Texas v. United States. This collective action underscores NECC’s steadfast support for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

This “friend of the court” brief was coordinated by the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration, of which NECC is a founding member, and TheDream.US. The brief highlights emerging data from TheDream.US and asserts the “enormous and positive impact” DACA recipients have had “on their employers, their families, and the U.S. economy as a whole.”

live your dreams statue with E science building in the background

Northern Essex Community College proudly joins 168 colleges and universities nationwide by endorsing an amicus brief filed in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals for Texas v. United States.

“Immigration has been an essential part of higher education in America since long before we were a nation. And immigration continues to contribute to higher education in vital ways today,” says Northern Essex President Lane Glenn. “Today, NECC, as one of 168 signatories to this amicus brief, stands by our students, and stands by the principles that have built this nation and strengthened our system of higher education.”

DACA has provided work authorization and protection from deportation to nearly 600,000 individuals, enabling them to better support themselves and their families financially, build their careers, and access higher education. If this program is rescinded, DACA recipients will lose their ability to work and study legally, will be forced from their jobs, and will be subject to immediate deportation.

The brief outlines why it is critical that the Fifth Circuit court reinstate this program in its entirety while Congress acts to establish lasting legislative solutions:

1.     DACA recipients graduating from college match or outperform their peers on key metrics and are making significant contributions to the most important sectors of our economy.

2.     DACA recipients achieve social mobility and support their children and, in many cases, their parents and other family members.

3.     DACA’s end would be a blow to higher-education institutions of all types as well as their students and graduates.

Gaby Pacheco, President and CEO at TheDream.US, remarks: “DACA has provided thousands of TheDream.US Scholars and alumni not only access to a work permit but also an opportunity to prove themselves as students and employees who strengthen the nation every single day as nurses, teachers, engineers and in other essential occupations. The data in the new amicus brief underscores the success of our Scholars and alumni and makes the case for why we should be expanding, not restricting, opportunities for Dreamers.”

President Glenn points out that while the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) cannot accept new applications for DACA status until the 5th Circuit case is settled, anyone with less than one year remaining of an existing DACA status should consider renewing their application immediately.

For more information about DACA status renewal, visit the USCIS website, or contact NECC Director of International Student Support and Special Populations Maria Hernandez at or (978) 556-3726.

Background on the Fifth Circuit Case:  On September 13, 2023, U.S. District Court Judge Andrew Hanen found that the Biden Administration rule issued in 2022 that formalized DACA was unlawful. Although the court left the program in place for current DACA recipients, the future of hundreds of thousands of Dreamers hangs in the balance. On November 9, 2023, the Biden Administration and MALDEF filed appeals in the case in defense of DACA, and the case is back before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

Resources: Read the amicus brief from the Presidents’ Alliance in collaboration with TheDream.US HERE

The nonpartisan, nonprofit Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration brings college and university presidents and chancellors together on the immigration issues that impact higher education, our students, campuses, communities and nation. We work to support undocumented, international and refugee students, and advance forward-looking immigration policies and practices at the federal level, in our states, and across our college campuses. The Alliance is composed of 550+ college and university presidents and chancellors of public and private colleges and universities, enrolling over five million students in 43 states, D.C., and Puerto Rico.

TheDream.US, a fiscally sponsored project of New Venture Fund, is the nation’s largest college and career success program for undocumented immigrant students, having provided more than 10,000 college scholarships to Dreamers attending over 80 partner colleges in 21 states and Washington, DC. We believe everyone, regardless of where they were born, should have equitable access to a college education, a meaningful career, and opportunities to contribute to the communities they call home. For more information on TheDream.US, visit