Speaking on behalf of the entire Hunter College community, I am enormously relieved and deeply grateful that the U. S. Supreme Court ruled today that the federal DACA program—which since 2012 has protected young, undocumented immigrants who came to this country with their parents—cannot be dismantled by the White House. This decision preserves the right of DACA students at Hunter, and nationwide, to continue enjoying the right to live, work, and study in the United States.
We are particularly proud that our own Hunter alumna Carolina Fung Feng (’13) served as a successful co-plaintiff in the original lawsuit in this important case. Born and raised in Costa Rica to Chinese parents, she arrived in New York in her teens and went on to pursue her undergraduate degree at Hunter. Carolina earned a BA in English Language Arts and Spanish-English Translation & Interpretation, and works today teaching English to adult immigrants and serves as a successful literary translator. She truly exemplifies the Hunter College motto: “Mihi Cura Futuri—the care of the future is mine.” And with profound admiration, we applaud her for her important role in this historic court decision.
Hunter has long been committed to making the American dream come true. For generations, immigrants from all parts of the world have sought refuge, learning, and opportunity here. And the hundreds of DACA students who have studied here over the years have continued in that great tradition. With limited support from other sources available for DACA students, we are proud to have raised private funds in their behalf, including the Eva Kastan Grove program (named for and generously sponsored by an immigrant student from South America by way of Holocaust-ravaged Europe). Hunter has also partnered with TheDream.US in yet another program to aid DACA undergraduates—soon to be expanded under a pilot program for graduate students.
Even in the grip of both a pandemic and a long-overdue national reckoning over systemic racism, Hunter further commits itself—on campus and online—to making sure that the future continues to belong to all the students who continue pursuing that dream here.
Our hope now, as I noted in a recent opinion piece, is that Congress will move swiftly to permanently end the uncertainty and anxiety that has followed our DACA students for these past eight years. It is time to celebrate their quest for education and validate their pathway to citizenship in this country. Meanwhile, this day belongs to Carolina and the Hunter DACA family, and we gratefully salute them.