Mantella joins national alliance; signs letter to Congress urging help for immigrant students
President Philomena V. Mantella has joined more than 400 other university presidents, CEOs and leaders who sent a joint letter to Congressional leaders urging them to pass the bipartisan Dreamers Act to ensure a better future for immigrant students.
Mantella is a new steering committee member for the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration, a nonpartisan educational and advocacy organization that brings college and university presidents together around the immigration issues that impact students and campuses.
The Presidents’ Alliance joined the American Business Immigration Coalition July 19 to send the letter to U.S. Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Mitch McConnell (R-KY), urging them to pass the bipartisan Durbin-Graham DREAM Act of 2021, which would allow immigrant students without lawful status who grew up in the United States to earn permanent residence and eventually American citizenship. It follows recent action in Texas, where a federal judge declared the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, is unlawful.
Mantella said she was pleased to join the Presidents' Alliance as it fits with Grand Valley's commitment of supporting undocumented and immigrant students. In 2019, Grand Valley earned national recognition from Excelencia in Education, a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C., that seeks to improve education outcomes for Latino/a college students.
"The work of the Presidents' Alliance helps to ensure greater access and equity for immigrant and refugee students, makes the case for a national recruitment and retention strategy for international students, alumni and scholars, and it is aligned with our university values and commitment to inclusion and equity," Mantella said.
Grand Valley has a website dedicated to providing resources for undocumented and DACA students, gvsu.edu/daca_undoc.