Washington colleges and universities are taking a stand against Donald Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

Under DACA, which President Barack Obama created in 2012 through an executive order, young immigrants who were brought to the United States illegally as children are allowed to stay here as long as they have no serious criminal histories. DACA recipients can live and work here for renewable two-year periods.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions was the one to announce the Trump administration’s decision to end DACA on Tuesday, Sept. 5, stating the program likely would not hold up in a court challenge promised by 10 state attorneys general. The ending of DACA is expected to affect 800,000 undocumented immigrants — around 18,000 in Washington state.

The Washington State Council of Presidents, Washington State Board for Community & Technical Colleges, Independent Colleges of Washington and Washington Student Achievement Council issued a statement on Sept. 5, urging Congress to use the six months it has before DACA is set to be gradually rolled back to pass the Dreamer Act or some other legislation that will allow students “to continue to contribute to the global competitive environment.”

“In Washington, all of our students, regardless of their immigration status, are invaluable to the teaching we provide in our classrooms, the research we perform in our labs, and the discoveries we make in medicine,” part of the joint statement reads. “These students and those who came before them are not strangers on our campuses, in our communities, and in out homes. They are our neighbors, our co-workers, our friends and our family. They are us.”

Seattle Central College signed on to this statement, as did Seattle University.

Seattle U president Stephen V. Sundborg, S.J. also issued a community message on Sept. 5.

“Short of congressional action in the comings (stet) months, the more than 800,000 individuals whose parents — seeking a better life for their children —brought them here as children and are protected by DACA will be at risk of deportation,” part of Sundborg’s message reads. “Today’s decision runs counter to the values of our country, our common humanity and our university.”

Sunborg states he has also joined more than 1,300 Catholic educators in signing a letter from the Ignatian Solidarity Network and Jesuits supporting DACA, and the week before Seattle U signed a letter to Trump from the American Association of Catholic Colleges and Schools.

Seattle U has several resources available to students affected by the DACA decision, including a resource page for undocumented students created last year that is managed by the university’s Office of Multicultural Affairs.

“To our Seattle University community, please know I remain grateful for all of your support for our students and alumni who are part of the DACA program,” Sundborg’s statement reads. “We will continue moving forward together in solidarity, respect, care and compassion.”

Washington 7th Congressional District Rep. Pramila Jayapal has called on her colleagues in Washington, D.C. to pass stand-alone legislation to protect Dreamers, stating its repeal will cause the country to lose $460.3 billion in gross domestic product over the next decade.

“Let me be clear: Our immigrant brothers and sisters are here to stay. Not only are they welcome in our communities – they are essential to our communities,” Jayapal said in a Sept. 5 statement. “I will continue to fight alongside Dreamers and the immigrant rights movement. I ask my Republican colleagues to consider which side of justice they wish to be on, and join us in passing legislation to protect Dreamers once and for all.”

Congress has attempted to pass a Dream Act for the past 16 years, and it is too soon to tell whether lawmakers will be able to come up with legislation that protects the 800,000 Dreamers to be affected by DACA’s repeal.

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson, whose office successfully challenged Trump’s Muslim travel ban earlier this year, filed a multi-state lawsuit to block Trump’s DACA decision on Tuesday, Sept. 6.

“Allowing nearly 18,000 Dreamers to live and work in Washington makes our communities stronger and better places to live,” Ferguson said. “I will do everything in my power to ensure that they can continue to feel secure in what is, for many of them, the only home they have ever known.”

Arguments being provided by the lawsuit filed with 15 other attorneys general are that Trump’s action violates the Constitution’s equal protection clause, the Dreamers’ due process rights, the Administrative Procedure Act and the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

Amazon, Microsoft and Starbucks have written declarations supporting Ferguson’s lawsuit.