Universities reaffirm support for undocumented students
Numerous universities are issuing new statements in support of undocumented students in the wake of the Trump administration announcing that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, created five years ago by President Obama, would end in six months unless Congress takes action.
Many higher ed institutions had previously made moves to support undocumented students and the DACA program itself.
Here are some of the new statements.
The university put out this statement over the signatures of chancellor Carol Christ and two other administrators:
"We are heartbroken for our undocumented immigrant communities. These communities include many of our students and families, who made the difficult decision to migrate here in pursuit of economic and educational opportunity; or to escape poverty, persecution, human rights violation or armed conflict. This is a devastating step backward and a measure that undermines the spirit of our highest values as a university and as a nation. ...
"At a time when our campus and community values are being challenged by the prevailing national rhetoric and policy making, we must deepen our resolve and commitment to our principles and to each other. During these difficult moments, we must defend strongly held values of dignity, diversity and community. We call upon the Berkeley community of faculty, students, staff, alumni and allies to get engaged in whatever ways you see fit. As a campus we are all inextricably intertwined; may this moment help us remember our shared humanity. Now more than ever, we stand with our young undocumented scholars at Berkeley and beyond."
The full statement is here. Berkeley also provides support via its Undocumented Student Program.
Harvard president Drew Faust made clear that the university is deploying resources to provide various types of support, in the form of legal aid as well as counseling for anxious students:
"Our deans of students and student services staff members across the University have begun reaching out to affected students. The Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program (HIRC) at Harvard Law School, which hired a full-time attorney to provide legal services to undocumented members of our community with support from my office earlier this year, will continue to offer legal and advising resources, as well as social work support, to those seeking guidance or counsel. HIRC has also established a 24/7 hotline for DACA and undocumented members of the community to call in case of emergency. The University has developed a list of immigration lawyers willing to consider pro bono cases to supplement these services, also available through an HIRC advisor.
"Recognizing the anxiety and disruption brought by months of uncertainty, HUHS’s Counseling and Mental Health Services will be continuing a weekly support group started last semester in addition to offering individual counseling services."
More information is available on the Undocumented at Harvard website.
University of Oregon
In anticipation of the new announcement from the Trump administration, the university reaffirmed its support of the DACA program and to protecting student privacy, said its president, Michael H. Schill, who is also a law professor. He wrote,
"In the coming weeks and months, I urge everyone in our community to reach out and embrace those students who now face the uncertainty of knowing whether they will be able to remain in the United States. As I have repeated on many occasions — we are a family. Families take care of each other, and we will do everything in our power to ensure that all of our students are supported."
California State University
CSU chancellor Timothy P. White took care to address undocumented students and employees alike in his statement, which also made clear the university's policies with respect to enrollment and tuition:
"The university's enrollment and tuition policies are not based on DACA status so enrollment, tuition and financial aid for students is not impacted by the ending of the program. Additionally, state funding under the California Dream Act is not based on DACA status and will not change."
University of Virginia president Teresa A. Sullivan told students she is standing strong with undocumented students:
"Although our DACA students may have been brought to the U.S. illegally, they have taken all the required steps to demonstrate that they intend to become contributing citizens. UVA’s DACA students have undergone far more extensive background checks than our native-born students. They have worked hard in high schools in Virginia and elsewhere to be admitted to UVA. And they are succeeding in their studies in a variety of fields. Because of their determination and diligence, the DACA students are models to our other students of how to work hard and succeed."
She added that the university is "offering assistance and steadfast support" to undocumented students and urged any concerned students to consult the dean of students' office.
Indiana University posted this statement:
"Indiana University is deeply disappointed in the Trump administration's decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, especially in light of the administration's prior statements expressing support for young people protected by DACA and the strong bipartisan support that exists nationwide for maintaining the program. ...
"We also want to assure all DACA students that we remain fully committed to ensuring a welcoming, safe and civil community for all IU students. ... IU can and will take several steps to continue supporting all IU students, regardless of personal characteristics or documentation, that are within the bounds of the federal and state laws that bind us as a public institution. The administration's latest announcement also leaves many questions unanswered, and we will make every effort to better understand the decision and how we can continue to help our students."
The university's resources for DACA-protected students are here.
Santa Clara University
Michael E. Engh, president of this Jesuit university in California, posted this declaration on the school website:
"I shall work to support DACA students at Santa Clara during this period of stressful uncertainty. I join with our fellow Jesuit colleges and universities to provide a safe environment for our DACA students to continue their pursuit of higher education. Recalling the Biblical injunction, I believe that we should not “wrong or oppress the resident alien,” women and men cherished by God (Exodus 22.21). We must never ignore our calling to be men and women for others, but work for just solutions for complex issues."
Cornell University President Martha E. Pollack stated that the Trump stance "puts our DACA students’ futures in jeopardy and, as such, is extremely troubling" and announced simply,
"To each of our students who must now fear for their future, please know that Cornell stands with you."
Her statement also included a list of eight "commitments" to undocumented Cornell students, including protecting the privacy of student records and providing dedicated staff to support DACA recipient students.
The university announced that president Christopher L. Eisgruber "sent a letter to congressional leaders Tuesday urging them to place the highest priority on legislation that would provide immediate and long-term protection for young people enrolled in or eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, commonly known as DACA."
The university's statement is strong and direct:
"Stanford University vigorously and adamantly opposes the shameful decision announced today to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. This announcement before Congress can enact a permanent legislative solution will bring further profound disruption and uncertainty to those who have met DACA’s strict requirements and are fully a part of American communities....
"At Stanford, we stand in firm support of everyone in our immigrant community. Stanford will continue to advocate tirelessly for immigration reform efforts that allow us to continue to welcome students, employees and scholars who contribute to our mission of education and discovery. In that context, we urge Congress to expeditiously pass legislation to provide permanent legal residence and a path to citizenship for our country’s DREAMers."
Stanford's website for undocumented students is here.
Elon University President Leo M. Lambert posted this statement about the policy:
"I agreed with the President’s earlier statements that we 'love the dreamers,' because so many are enrolled in college, working hard every day, paying taxes, serving in the military and contributing to the strength of our communities. Holding these young people hostage when Congress has failed over many, many years to create a legislative solution for their dilemma strikes me as cruel and inhumane.
"We must now insist upon a bipartisan effort in Congress to create a permanent solution that will allow these young people to continue their studies and work in the United States. I join higher education and business leaders across the country in offering assistance to craft new policies over the next six months."
University of Minnesota
President Eric W. Kaler expressed disappointment in the Trump administration's new stance, and said,
"Our students who enrolled in DACA are valued members of our university community. Many DACA students have called Minnesota 真人百家家乐官网网站home for most of their lives. As a system, we will do everything possible under law to support them in the face of today's decision."
The Ohio State student newspaper, The Lantern, reported that the university is urging its congressional representatives to "codify the existing DACA policy into law." Of its own DACA-covered students, the university said,
"We support them strongly and are committed to their success."
City University of New York
In a statement emailed to USA TODAY College, CUNY noted that its program Citizenship Now! "provides the nation's most extensive university-based legal support program for immigrants and its experts are ready to advise our DACA students." The university also reiterated its support for students and DACA overall:
“We are fully committed to the thousands of CUNY DACA students and will do all we can to support them. They represent some of the most talented and creative voices in the CUNY community and our city. We will do everything we can to help persuade Congress to shore up support for the DACA community, not undermine it, and CUNY will provide counseling and guidance to help our DACA students with their needs and questions."
Related: Here's how DREAMers are reacting to Trump moving to end DACA
Related: If Trump ends DACA, here's how many students could be affected
This story originally appeared on the USA TODAY College blog, a news source produced for college students by student journalists. The blog closed in September of 2017.