Outgoing Harvard University president Drew Gilpin Faust denounced President Donald Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program on Tuesday, and vowed to lobby for DACA to continue.
“This cruel policy recognizes neither justice nor mercy,” Faust wrote in an e-mail to the Harvard Crimson, the elite college’s student newspaper. “In the months to come, we will make every effort to have our voice heard, in the halls of Congress and elsewhere, about the need for the protections of DACA to continue.”
According to the Crimson, roughly 65 Harvard students are DACA beneficiaries, meaning they were brought to the U.S. illegally as children and do not have legal residency in the United States. They were admitted to Harvard ahead of U.S. citizens, legal immigrants and eligible international students who might otherwise have qualified for a place at the College or graduate schools.
Since Trump’s surprise victory in November, the Crimson further reports, Harvard has hired a full-time official to deal with “undocumented” students, and provides legal assistance to illegal aliens studying at the nation’s most prestigious university. Earlier this year, Faust had written to Trump to urge him not to rescind DACA, arguing: “We, as a nation, have already made an investment in these young people, and we will benefit far more by permitting these students to put their skills to their highest use rather than by repealing DACA and forcing them to return to the shadows of our society.” She declined, however, to declare Harvard a “sanctuary” campus last year.
Faust is also a signatory to a letter signed by hundreds of university presidents last November urging then-President-elect Trump to continue DACA. The letter mad no reference to the Constitution, according to which Congress, not the president, makes the laws, which the executive must execute. Both President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions focused on the constitutional arguments against DACA in their public statements on Tuesday.
Likewise, Americans for Limited Government, a conservative group, said in a press statement: “President Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions are restoring the separation of powers and the rule of law by ending Obama’s unconstitutional executive amnesty programs for illegal immigrants. Obama had usurped constitutional authority from Congress by using his ‘magical’ pen and phone to create his own law out of whole cloth.”
Faust, a Civil War historian, will step down as Harvard’s president at the end of the 2017-2018 school year.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named one of the “most influential” people in news media in 2016. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.