Southern Oregon University President Linda Schott's announcement that the university would not cooperate with attempts to deport students enrolled in the DACA program unless legally compelled to do so aligns with the views of most Americans. The gesture is largely symbolic — like it or not, the law is on the side of federal immigration authorities if they choose to impose it — but it is important to those young people who now live in fear of being banished from the only country they have ever known.
DACA — Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals — was implemented by President Barack Obama after Congress failed to act on immigration reform proposals that would have addressed the issue. It temporarily protects those immigrants from deportation and allows them to work and attend college. Any permanent solution will require congressional action.
President Donald Trump has said he will rescind DACA in six months if Congress fails to act. But since Schott's announcement, Democratic congressional leaders say the president may be willing to sign legislation legalizing the young immigrants if the leaders can persuade majority Republicans to pass it.
Opponents of DACA argue Obama did not have the power to enact it without Congress. As a legal matter, they are probably right. But even many opponents agree it makes little sense to deport young people who came here through no fault of their own and are Americans in every sense but the legal one.
Congress — including Rep. Greg Walden — should step up and resolve this issue.