Today is the 10th anniversary of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), June 15, 2022
Last month, President Biden declared June 2022 as National Immigrant Heritage Month. In his proclamation, the president announced that America has long been a safe haven for those seeking refuge from economic and political crises. The president also correctly said that the U.S. has always promised to be a land in which all are created and treated equally, though it has never truly lived up to this standard — nor ever walked away from it.
While none of us should be satisfied with the perpetual stalemate in Congress regarding meaningful immigration reform, it is encouraging that many of the most promising and vulnerable students in our communities continue to receive protection from deportation under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which celebrates its tenth anniversary on June 15, 2022. In spite of the continuous delays to forge a more permanent solution, I am grateful that hundreds of CMC students and employees continue to receive protection from this executive order.
Importantly, Colorado Mountain College aspires to be the most equitable and innovative college in the nation; its efforts toward these goals are noteworthy.
Impatient for justice, in recent years faculty and staff at CMC implemented the nation’s first-of-its-kind income-sharing program for undocumented individuals (Fund Sueños) and advocated for significant changes to state law (Colorado HB22-1155). These initiatives allow undocumented high school graduates and GED earners immediate and durable access to CMC’s highly affordable degrees and certificates.
We also extended our signature President’s Scholarship and Colorado Mountain Promise financial aid programs to all qualified residents of the mountain communities served by CMC. In addition, the college launched several workforce certificates in Spanish, which allows students enrolled in English as a second language course to improve their skills while continuing the long process of mastering English.
In spite of the tedious delays at the federal levels, Colorado Mountain College boldly adapts to meet the needs and realities of its students and communities, right here in western Colorado. We always have and always will.
In 2021, CMC was officially designated as both a dual mission institution and a Hispanic Serving Institution. This year, because of the spirited efforts of our talented team of faculty and staff, the college is making progress toward becoming a Hispanic Thriving Institution and is a beacon of inspiration for hundreds of other colleges that share CMC’s impatience to do — and be — more. And to welcome and serve everyone who walks through our doors.
By Dr. Carrie Besnette Hauser