Coalition of 500+ College and University Leaders Calls On Administration and Congress to Address Criminalization, Exclusion, Separation of Black Migrants


October 15, 2021
Contact: Jose Magaña-Salgado (

Washington, D.C.—This week, the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration joins in solidarity and support of Black immigrants and migrants as part of the National Week of Action in Support of Black Migrants. Anti-Blackness in immigration policy and advocacy has a significant impact on our campuses—24 percent of all Black students in higher education are first or second generation immigrants, and Black students account for 12.5 percent of all undocumented students in higher education.

Cezanne Hayden-Dyer, Fellow at Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration, stated: 

“When it comes to the topic of immigration, Black immigrants and migrants are often left out of the overall conversation. There is a disparity in the treatment, arrests, and detainment of many Black immigrants. We need to acknowledge these injustices that are plaguing this group. Seeing the horrific images from the southern border and watching the treatment of many Haitian migrants, it is imperative that we stand with and advocate for the fair and humane treatment of these individuals. Black migrants, refugees, and immigrants are being deported at a disproportionately high rate. We need to ease the burden placed upon asylum seekers and the individuals seeking TPS and DACA. Those who had to leave their home countries and seek the safety of the American Dream should be treated with grace, dignity, and humanity.”

In light of the escalating crisis facing Black migrants at the southern border and the continuance of harmful anti-Black policies and practices in the U.S. immigration system, we call on the Biden administration and Congress to directly address the exigent issues facing Black migrants today. Specifically, the Presidents’ Alliance calls for the consideration of:

  • The wide use of humanitarian parole for Haitians at the U.S. southern border, particularly in light of the inhumane treatment of migrants at the Del Rio port of entry and elsewhere.
  • The suspension of deportations to Haiti due to worsening country conditions. 
  • An end to delays and the immediate consideration of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Special Student Relief (SSR) for various predominantly Black countries who meet the conditions for designation, including the Bahamas, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Guinea, Mauritania, and Sierra Leone, as well as an updated TPS designation for Haiti.
  • Increased discretion regarding criminal bars applied to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) in light of the impact on Black applicants, who face demonstrably disproportionate contact with the criminal justice system. This includes increased flexibility on expunged convictions, a statute of limitations on considering convictions, and a broad interpretation of the “minor traffic offense” provision, as Black drivers are also disproportionately pulled over for minor infractions.


The nonpartisan, nonprofit Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration brings college and university presidents and chancellors together on the immigration issues that impact higher education, our students, campuses, communities and nation. We work to advance just, forward-looking immigration policies and practices at the federal, state, and campus levels that are consistent with our heritage as a nation of immigrants and the academic values of equity and openness. The Alliance is composed of over 500 presidents and chancellors of public and private colleges and universities, enrolling over five million students in 43 states, D.C., and Puerto Rico.