Dear Members of the UMBC Community,
Following the Trump Administration’s decision today to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program—a pathway to work or college for undocumented individuals who arrived in the United States as children—campus leaders are working to support and advocate for DACA students and colleagues in our community.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced in a memorandum today that it would immediately stop accepting new applications for DACA, while protections for existing program participants will be phased out over time. Specifically, DHS has said that:
- Individuals currently enrolled in DACA will be able to continue working until their permits expire. Permits are typically valid for two years from the date of issuance.
- DACA participants whose permits expire by March 5, 2018 will be permitted to apply for two-year renewals as long as they do so by October 5, 2017.
- New applications and renewal requests already received by DHS before today will be reviewed and validated on a case-by-case basis, even those for permits that expire after March 5, 2018.
- DHS will no longer accept new applications for advance parole to travel abroad under standards associated with the DACA program.
We stand firm in our support for undocumented students’ access to public education, particularly our own “Dreamers,” students of diverse backgrounds earning degrees at UMBC through provisions of the Maryland Dream Act. We are deeply concerned that the federal government has decided to remove the federal protections DACA has provided, after requiring undocumented young people to identify themselves in order to access higher education. It is morally unacceptable for these students to be at risk of deportation, and UMBC leaders will vigorously advocate for swift Congressional action to establish the protections of DACA in law.
First and foremost, we are prepared to respond to the uncertainty and fear that students and colleagues with DACA status are experiencing. We are consulting with campus and external experts to understand the collective and individual implications of the Federal policy change and identify options and resources available to members of our community.
DACA students and allies seeking information and support are encouraged to contact The Mosaic: Center for Culture and Diversity (firstname.lastname@example.org, 410-455-2686) on UMBC’s main campus or Dr. Ashley Waters (email@example.com, 301-738-6175) at the Shady Grove campus. Additional resources focused on diversity and inclusion more broadly can be accessed through UMBC’s Diversity and Inclusion website.
In addition, President Hrabowski has joined USM Chancellor Robert Caret and other USM leaders in a forthcoming letter urging Maryland’s Congressional Delegation to advance legislation to maintain and extend DACA protections. This is consistent with UMBC’s November 2016 endorsement of a letter from college and university presidents across the nation citing the moral imperative and national necessity to provide DACA students a path to education and productive lives.
We affirm UMBC’s commitment to provide all of our students with a safe and supportive educational environment and will keep the campus community updated on developments related to DACA.
President Freeman Hrabowski
Provost Philip Rous
Kimberly Moffitt, Faculty Senate President
Roy Prouty, Graduate Student Association President
Diana Smith, Non-Exempt Staff Senate President
Ashley Waters, Professional Staff Senate President
Joshua Massey, Student Government Association President