Our founder, Ewing Marion Kauffman, saw himself as a common man who did uncommon things. He believed through education and entrepreneurship, everyone had the opportunity to be uncommon and achieve success.
This week, the United States Attorney General announced that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) order is rescinded. The Trump administration has called on Congress to address the ultimate fate of DACA children and young adults during the coming months.
DACA refers to the 2012 executive order that allowed children who were brought to the country illegally (typically with their parents or other family members) to avoid deportation, acquire work permits, enlist in the military, and receive financial support for their postsecondary education. These children and young adults have grown up in America. When DACA was enacted, they showed uncommon courage and faith by stepping forward with all their personal information to apply for deferment and the chance to live, work, and learn in America. They’ve contributed to our communities, played by the rules and believed in our government.
We at the Kauffman Foundation have seen many remarkable DACA stories firsthand through our support of programs that strive to provide students with a path toward success in college, such as Kauffman Scholars and Kansas City Scholars.
These programs fulfill Mr. Kauffman’s legacy, helping to eliminate barriers so that every person – regardless of his or her background – can take risks, achieve success, and contribute to their communities. Our direct experience demonstrates to us that DACA put these children in a position to earn a better living through furthering education, as well as providing a greater sense of safety and security. Perhaps most importantly, DACA allowed these children to be welcome and openly productive in our communities and society.
At the Kauffman Foundation, we have made commitments and promises to thousands of students, including Dreamers, and we will continue to do everything we can to honor those pledges and provide the opportunities for which they have worked so hard.
Mr. Kauffman believed the greatest investment in the world was in people, particularly young people. He knew that removing barriers for people who are often overlooked and underrepresented would allow them to get the jobs or make the jobs that define our country’s success and blaze paths to our common future.
We hope that you will take the time to learn more about this issue and the opportunities for pragmatic bipartisanship to address it.
Finally, we hope that Congress works together to craft a solution that allows the Dreamers to have the opportunity to be uncommon contributors to their families, their communities, and to the country they are proud to call home.
Leading from the Middle: A New Approach to Education's Needs of Today and the Promises of Tomorrow
Wendy Guillies is the president and chief executive officer of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. Established in Kansas City, Missouri, by the late entrepreneur and philanthropist, Ewing Marion Kauffman, the Foundation is one of the largest private foundations in the United States with an asset base of more than $2 billion.
Guillies is a native of Kansas City, Kansas, and she and her husband are the proud parents of two daughters. She is a graduate of the University of Nebraska.