DACA decision and the University's stance

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

To the University community,

I am deeply disappointed by the decision today to begin to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA.

Along with my senior leadership team, we are especially concerned for young people registered in the program, many of whom are our students. They were given a promise that they would not be targeted for deportation. Today's decision, while delaying the process, still raises that unconscionable possibility.

Our students who enrolled in DACA are valued members of our university community.  Many DACA students have called Minnesota 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. 

DACA has changed lives and allowed young people to attend college, pursue graduate degrees and launch careers. In their quest to advance their lives and pursue their learning and life goals, these fellow Minnesotans represent what is best about our state and our nation. 

I stand with them and urge Minnesota's Congressional delegation to work to extend DACA to protect our students and their families, and to keep the promise of opportunity.

Despite today's federal government actions, the Minnesota Dream Act remains a state law that was adopted by the Board of Regents as the official policy for the University of Minnesota system. Students who meet the law's criteria will continue to receive in-state tuition and can apply for financial aid.

This nation and our state need a diversity of talent. In fact, recently the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce has been leading a statewide discussion on our future workforce and the needs of our employers. It seems shortsighted to penalize not only students, but our employers, at a time when they and our state are in need of talented and educated workers.

We strongly encourage all students and staff affected by today's DACA decision to contact the Immigration Response Team or take advantage of the resources available on your campus. The team is ready to meet and consult with students who have questions about their immigration status or their situation at the university. Department heads and advisors can also consult with the Immigration Response Team. Faculty and advisors are also encouraged to refer students with concerns to the team for support and consultations.

I will personally monitor this situation carefully and ensure that the resources needed to care for DACA students are available.