Illegal immigrants should 'be treated as Americans,' Crimson editors assert

The Harvard Crimson’s editorial board wants the university to consider illegal immigrant students as domestic applicants, saying such students deserve to be treated as though they are Americans.

Although Harvard policy currently does not prevent illegal immigrants from applying to the prestigious institution, it does categorize these students as international applicants rather than domestic applicants.

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The Crimson, however, thinks such a policy is discriminatory, arguing that Harvard ought to mimic the policies of schools that have “recently revised their admission policies to permit undocumented students to apply as domestic applicants,” such as Brown University and Tufts University.

“Symbolically, it is an indignity that such students have to apply to colleges in their own country of residence as international students,” the editorial continues. “Many undocumented students know only the United States as home, and they deserve to be treated as Americans by institutions of higher learning.”

The editorial goes on to contend that the school should be even “more explicit about its policy on accepting undocumented students,” suggesting that additional mental health counselors should be made available to illegal immigrants to address their unique experiences.

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The Crimson’s editors then assert that illegal immigrant students deserve to have the “protection of the law,” saying programs such as DACA should ensure that these students can “remain on campus and live without constant fear of deportation.”

Yet the editorial later argues that DACA, and other immigration programs like the DREAM Act, are “ultimately insufficient and highlight the need for comprehensive immigration reform,” though it does consider them important intermediary steps.

“In the meantime, the university must support the undocumented students who live, work, and study at Harvard,” the editorial staff concludes. “Their distinct experiences contribute to the diversity that makes Harvard special.”

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @AGockowski