Dear PNACAC Members,

During this time of uncertainty the Pacific Northwest Association for College Admission Counseling (PNACAC) is joining many organizations in denouncing President Trump’s Immigration Executive Order from Friday, January 27, 2017. This Executive Order bans “entry of all refugees to the United States for 120 days, [barring] Syrian refugees indefinitely, and [blocking] entry into the United States for 90 days for citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.” PNACAC stands by our members and the students and families they serve regardless of age, gender, sex, race, color, country of origin, ethnicity, culture, religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, immigration status, or disability.

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By Mike Sass, Gonzaga University

In the wake of the 2016 U.S. presidential election, discussions have erupted about what is to come next.  From newly proposed legislation to the selection of a Supreme Court Justice, no one knows what exactly is in store for the U.S. and the American education system, but among the topics of conversation is immigration reform.  President-elect Donald Trump campaigned on a promise to immediately reverse the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program - better known as DACA - if elected. Since DACA was first implemented by President Barack Obama through an executive order, the President-elect will hold the power to completely overturn the policy and shutter the program after taking the oath of office.  DACA and its potential reversal could affect many students at all levels.

Many believe that an immediate shutdown of the program is not likely, but ambiguity surrounds what will actually happen on January 20, 2017.  While advocates representing both sides of the issue are lobbying lawmakers (and the incoming administration), Congressional Representatives on both sides of the aisle, and several prominent non-governmental organizations are advocating for a slower elimination of DACA if the President-elect is to jettison the program.  Republican Senators Lindsay Graham (R-SC) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ) have joined together with Dick Durban (D-IL), one of the creators of the DACA program, to craft legislation helping to provide legal support and protection to individuals who are current beneficiaries of DACA.

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Grant Blume, PNACAC Government Relations Committee Chair

The end of 2013 was marked by political brinksmanship and uncertainty as Congress debated issues related to the federal budget. On December 10, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) announced a budget deal that eventually passed the House and Senate and was signed by President Obama. NACAC viewed the Murray-Ryan agreement as “a positive step forward but not ideal” because the agreement restored most (87%) but not all of the federal funding to education that had been cut under sequestration (the mandatory across-the-board cuts that went into effect January 1, 2013). 

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Read Jim Rawlins & Jason McDonald's Guest Opinion in The Oregonian:

Students need college counseling more than ever