Dear campus community,
Today, President Trump announced that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program—which has safeguarded many young undocumented immigrants from deportation, helped them fund their education at universities like UC Berkeley, and opened the doors to employment in the United States—will be rescinded. 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.
Since DACA was established in 2012, more than 800,000 young undocumented immigrants—including thousands who attended or now attend UC—have undergone a rigorous application process and been approved for the program. DACA has given these individuals some respite from the spectre of deportation, allowed them to obtain work permits and driver’s licenses, and has increased college access by opening up pathways to state and private financial aid. Moreover, the program has helped undocumented immigrants more fully participate in America’s democracy, broadened the range of career pathways available to them, and provided them with a greater sense of acceptance and belonging in their own country.
The termination of DACA not only undermines the lives and futures of undocumented students but also places particularly at risk those currently with DACA status since they have submitted proof of their undocumented status to the government. To that end, we will ask our Congressional delegation to move quickly to take action to provide protection for our undocumented students and give them a path to permanent residency and eventually citizenship. We encourage all of you to contact your local representatives to ask that they do whatever they can to protect young undocumented immigrants and the family and commu nity members that help them thrive.
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.
If needed, the campus has resources available including counseling services and immigration legal support. Please visit the Undocumented Student Program for more information: http://undocu.berkeley.edu/
Vice Chancellor for Equity & Inclusion
Director, Undocumented Student Program