The Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA) opposes any policy or action that discriminates based on national origin or religion, or that infringes on the fundamental rights of students and families to pursue education. Two of US President Trump’s executive orders issued in the past ten days are in conflict with those values. One of these orders curtails funding for “sanctuary cities” and a second restricts immigration to the United States by refugees and foreign nationals from seven predominantly Muslim countries. These executive orders interfere with the mission, values, and practices of our members who work to ensure that every student finds an appropriate educational pathway.
The future of 700,000 students who are protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) immigration policy is now uncertain, as these students could be impacted by the “sanctuary cities” order. DACA allows the children of illegal immigrants brought to this country by their parents to receive temporary protection from deportation, work permits, and a path to citizenship if they have not committed any crimes. If DACA were rescinded, these young people (‘dreamers’), who are culturally Americans, would face numerous challenges, including unemployment, the inability to go to college, and the risk of deportation.
The ban on immigration order raises serious uncertainty for current and future foreign students. Many students in US schools and colleges have grave concerns about returning to their home country for fear that they may not be admitted back into the United States. We also believe these restrictions will affect families beyond the initial list of countries because students who are considering studying in the United States will fear that they may not be permitted entry, even with appropriate visas.
As advocates and advisors to students around the globe and across a wide range of demographics, these actions affect our professional work. IECA leadership and members will work together with our education partners in schools, colleges, and other non-profit organizations to continue to advise all current and prospective students affected by these orders.