Government Affairs

Diversity and Inclusion: Advocating for AACN’s Strategic Priority

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On January 25, AACN along with 44 higher education associations issued a joint letter of support for the passage of the Bar Removal of Individuals who Dream and Grow our Economy Act (BRIDGE Act S. 128, H.R. 496). The bipartisan legislation was reintroduced in the Senate by Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Richard Durbin (D-IL) and in the House by Representatives Mike Coffman (R-CO), Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), Carlos Curbelo (R-FL), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), Jeff Denham (R-CA), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), and Judy Chu (D-CA). The legislation would protect undocumented young people brought to the U.S. as children, should the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program be discontinued under the new Administration. If passed, the BRIDGE Act will provide temporary relief from deportation and employment authorizations to the more than 750,000 individuals who have received DACA status since the program’s creation in 2012.

On January 31, AACN along with 46 other higher education associations sent a letter to the Secretary of Homeland Security, John F. Kelly, that provided insight from the academic perspective on President Trump’s Executive Order Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States. The letter outlined our willingness to offer assistance in connection to international students, faculty, and scholars at U.S. institutions of higher education. Within AACN’s membership, there are roughly 5,000 non-U.S. resident students. As the association’s strategic plan outlines, AACN will work to maintain an equitable and inclusive workforce, ensuring access to quality education for all students and healthcare for all patients.

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