Pelton signs document in support of immigration reform

by Laura King / Beacon Staff • March 17, 2016

Emerson President M. Lee Pelton signed an amicus brief in support of President Barack Obama’s two executive actions on immigration reform. The document is filed in the Supreme Court case United States v. Texas, in which Texas and 25 other states will challenge the policy this April.

“The political divide in our country right now can be characterized as those who see the future and run from it, and those who see the future and run towards it,” Pelton said in an interview. “Emerson has always been an institution that runs toward the future.”

In November 2014, Obama issued two executive actions. Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) and the expanded version of the 2012 program Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) grant protection to those who entered the U.S. illegally under the age of 16, or who are parents of U.S. citizens. Rather than being deported, these individuals have the opportunity to receive permission to work legally in the country, according the the Department of Homeland Security website.

The brief, filed on March 8, included signatures of Boston area political, business, and community leaders. Pelton said it was likely he was invited to be a signatory because of his public support for making college available to children of undocumented immigrants.

“My hope is that it will make higher education more accessible,” Pelton said, “and prod higher education to live up to its promise of helping young people see themselves in their own futures.”