The faculty and staff of the Department of Gender & Women’s Studies wish to express our unwavering support for all our students, and particularly Dreamers, whose future has been put in jeopardy with 9/5/2017 suspension of the DACA program.
The letter below, a UC system-wide statement signed by hundreds of UC faculty, does an excellent job of expressing the honor and responsibility we feel toward all our students.
-Laura C. Nelson
Chair, Department of Gender & Women’s Studies
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA SYSTEM-WIDE FACULTY STATEMENT AGAINST THE SUSPENSION OF DACA
At the University of California, Dream Scholars are students who have resided in the United States from a young age without lawful immigration status. They attended schools in California, including its public high schools, and their academic achievements earned them a place at one of the University of California’s ten campuses. For over fifteen years, California state law has allowed the University of California to admit and matriculate Dream Scholars as in-state students. Like their peers, these Dream Scholars have worked hard every day for a better future for themselves and for their families. In 2012, President Obama authorized Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), an executive order that allowed such students to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation, and also to be eligible for a work permit. DACA has been instrumental to the students’ livelihood and well-being, and it has mitigated the fear of deportation. The program allowed students to pursue their education and to contribute taxes through legal forms of employment. But on September 5, 2017, President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the termination of DACA in six months.
We, the undersigned faculty of the University of California, express our strong and unwavering support for Dream Scholars and for students of mixed immigration status families. We express our deepest concern about the suspension of Deferral Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) without any guarantee that Congress will pass legislation to protect our Dream Scholars. We deplore the extent to which the suspension of DACA will cause our students to feel anxiety and uncertainty. Indeed, their worries for themselves and for their families will cause them tremendous stress and suffering. In light of the President’s action, we now ask Congress to enforce the core values of the United States of America by acting quickly and decisively to ensure the well-being of all immigrant families.
We believe in a University committed to excellence in research and teaching, and to an environment that provides opportunities for all of our students. As we continue to address the most pressing problems of our state, our nation, and our world, we know that bright young students—motivated and eager to learn—are truly our best hope, irrespective of the difficult circumstances that brought some of them to our campus, and to us. We remain honored to teach students of every conceivable background, and as their teachers and mentors, we wish to let them know again that they are all welcome here, that we have faith in their aspirations, and that mutual respect and concern for one another should always remain at the heart of the University of California.