In response to the Trump administration’s announcement to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, University of Toledo President Sharon Gaber released two statements Sept. 5 and 6 in support of UT’s DACA
“I am deeply disappointed by yesterday’s announcement from the White House that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program will be scheduled to end,” Gaber wrote in her Sept. 6 statement. “This will have a dramatic impact on students and the communities to which they contribute.”
DACA program was implemented in 2012 under the Obama administration to grant children of migrants the authorization to work and gain an education and two years of legal protection from deportation, given that they follow several guidelines.
According to Pew Research, approximately 800,000 DACA renewals have been issued since 2012 and have significantly increased every fiscal quarter since spring 2016.
In a performance report for DACA applicant considerations in quarter two of fiscal year 2017 released by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Ohio has accepted 11,144 requests and has approved 9,566 requests to date.
This includes both first-time applicants and renewals.
The decision to end the program was announced by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions in a press conference on
Sept. 5 and went into effect the same day.
Sessions said that the decision to end DACA was based on many factors, including its ability to stand up to the constitutional scrutiny that Deferred Action for Parents of Americans underwent.
According to the USCIS website responsible for DACA requests, the service department is “no longer accepting initial requests” and will only adjudicate “DACA renewal requests received by Oct. 5, 2017.”
Gaber wrote that she has reached out to elected officials expressing her concern in supporting the legal protections for the students and urged officials to support codifying the provisions of DACA.
“We need Congress to help protect our students. The planned termination of the program would disrupt the lives and education of UT students who are important contributors to our region, campus and community,” said Gaber.
McKether, vice president for diversity and inclusion, said the university needs to be reactive to new legislation and must understand how it affects students.
“We need to obey the law, but we also stand by our students,” said McKether. “We need to be flexible enough as an institution to pivot and make adjustments as necessary because we understand the commitment we have to our
Recently, McKether and Gaber talked with Latino students on UT’s campuses who wanted reassurance that the university will support them, McKether
“We are now working with Latino students on campus to create programs and to create the right kinds of messaging,” said McKether.
One program discussed includes a panel of experts including DACA and non-DACA students to inform the campus community on the impact DACA has on students, said McKether.
“We are looking at an event that will be for all students,” said McKether. “The tone of the conversation was that we need to have constant communication with our students so they know where we stand.”
University leaders will continually monitor DACA and will keep students, faculty and staff updated as new information becomes available, wrote Gaber.
“I think that anything that has the effect of targeting a particular population, it suggests that measure could be an attack on any group of individuals,” said McKether. “So, for me, when I think about those sort of measures that make people feel unwelcome, not only in this country but at this university, it hurts me to see students hurt.”