To the Washington University community:
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program should be continued and even expanded. With President Trump’s decision to rescind the program and end it within six months, I hope that Congress acts quickly to pass legislation to continue the DACA program so that those registered in the program and others who may be eligible can stay and continue to realize their full potential in this country.
As I have shared directly with our elected leaders, DACA is not only a moral imperative, but it also benefits the United States as a whole. Students who participate in the program have been raised here. They are part of our community, with great potential to make positive contributions to our country. We should be embracing them, not abandoning them.
Because of this decision, hundreds of thousands of young people and their families are scared and worried for their future. Members of Congress can address this and they should. I, and other university leaders, will continue to press elected officials on crafting a permanent solution as soon as possible.
Every Washington University student — regardless of immigration status, race, ethnicity, nationality or any other identity — deserves the same opportunity for academic success.
Here at our university:
- The Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS) is available to aid and assist students impacted by changes in DACA. OISS can provide information about available resources — including housing and legal assistance.
- We will work directly with students impacted by changes in DACA to address challenges that may make it difficult for them to continue their studies, including financial hardships.
- The Washington University Police Department’s (WUPD) primary role is to maintain a safe learning environment on our campuses. WUPD does not inquire about immigration status in carrying out their duties. Officers do not detain individuals based solely on their immigration status. Though WUPD is required to comply with lawful subpoenas and other legal requirements, it is not the university’s practice that WUPD will function as an agent of the federal government in the enforcement of federal immigration laws.
- We zealously protect privacy of confidential student information. We will not release information about a student’s immigration or citizenship status to third parties unless required to do so by law or directive from a court.
You can learn more about available resources here.
Our university draws strength through our differences. We have a long tradition of attracting talented people from all around the world to our community and that will continue. It is on each of us to work to ensure that every member of our community feels welcome, included and empowered to succeed.
Mark S. Wrighton
Image: Flickr Creative Commons Ana Paula Hirama, Statue of Liberty – NYC, Set2011