It's no surprise that Southern Oregon University President Linda Schott has joined a national coalition of college and university leaders supporting immigrant students regardless of their legal status. SOU has a close relationship with the University of Guanajuato, Mexico, thanks to Ashland's sister-city relationship. Schott vows to protect students enrolled in the DACA program, which allows immigrants brought here as children to avoid deportation while pursuing an education.
The arguments in favor of leniency toward the 800,000 young people eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program are well-known: These are teenagers and young adults brought to this country by their parents, here without legal authorization through no fault of their own. Many know no other country; some speak only English and have never even visited their native land.
But there is another reason why it makes sense to allow "Dreamers," as they are known, to stay here and attend college, as many are doing. It benefits the United States economy. And not just a little.
A study completed last January by the Cato Institute calculated that ending the DACA program would cost the U.S. economy $215 billion over 10 years. The cost to the government in lost tax revenue alone would be $60 billion.
President Donald Trump announced in September that he would end the program in March unless Congress acts to save it. Congress should do so. In the meantime, Schott and her colleagues across the country will rightly continue to champion the cause of DACA students.