PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Following the Trump administration’s Tuesday, Sept. 5, decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, Brown University’s leaders reaffirmed the University’s commitment to supporting DACA and undocumented members of the campus community. The text of a letter to students, faculty and staff from Brown President Christina Paxson, Provost Richard Locke and Vice President for Campus Life and Student Services Eric Estes follows here:
Dear Students, Staff and Faculty,
Today, the Trump administration announced it will end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status granted to an estimated 800,000 young people across this country, phasing out the program through March 5, 2018. With this decision, students and others with current DACA status will face deportation if Congress does not identify a legislative solution for them to remain in the country legally once their status expires.
These promising individuals are caught in unfair circumstances, having come to the United States as children because their parents envisioned for them a new future. They have contributed to the richness of their communities by working, serving their country and attending colleges and universities like Brown.
Ending the protections DACA has granted to so many high-achieving and promising individuals is wrong. It is shortsighted and in direct and flagrant conflict with this nation’s commitment to education and supporting the bold aspirations of our talented youth. It also violates Brown University’s core values. Early last week, President Paxson wrote to President Trump on behalf of the University asking him to preserve the status of America’s DREAMers. We urged his administration to work with Congress to establish a path to permanent citizenship to allow individuals with DACA status to continue working and studying in the United States. Brown will continue to call on Congress to enact legislation to protect these students and safeguard their future.
Since last week, in anticipation of the White House’s action, the University has been engaged in outreach to potentially affected students. We stand by the clear commitments we made last year to support and defend our DACA and undocumented students. We are asserting firmly and in absolute terms again that Brown does not share information with law enforcement regarding the immigration status of undocumented or DACA status students, and we will not without a subpoena. Brown’s Department of Public Safety does not inquire about or act on information related to immigration status, and does not partner with federal or state agencies to do so. All faculty, students and staff should direct any requests from law enforcement for information about the University or a member of our community to Brown’s Office of General Counsel.
Provost Richard Locke continues to lead the efforts of a planning and assessment group representing offices across campus to ensure we are positioned to support our students, faculty and staff affected by these changes. This includes joining national coalitions and advocating for permanent legislative solutions on the federal level.
Brown’s Undocumented and DACA Student Initiative, housed in the First-Generation College and Low-Income Student Center, continues to be the center of support for students with questions about available legal, financial and other resources. In the past year, Brown has enhanced counseling and psychological services to serve the diverse needs of students, and Brown will continue to meet the full demonstrated need of DACA students through University financial aid grants.
Students who have questions or concerns should contact FLi Center Program Director Julio Reyes, who brings a depth of knowledge and experience to supporting undocumented and DACA students.
Brown will do everything legally possible to protect our students, faculty and staff, and to ensure that all members of our community know they are highly valued for the richness they contribute to Brown.
Christina Paxson, President
Richard M. Locke, Provost
Eric Estes, Vice President for Campus Life & Student Services