Dear Western Community,
As you have likely heard, the Trump administration this morning announced its plans to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) immigration program and phase it out over the next six months, calling on Congress to replace the policy with legislation. Since the program began in 2012 with the Obama administration, nearly 800,000 undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as minors have been granted protection under DACA.
As I mentioned in my message last week, Western Washington University has been, and continues to be, strongly opposed to ending this program that provides hope and opportunity for young people across the country, including many Western students, their families and friends.
This morning I joined in signing a statement of support for DACA along with the presidents of Washington`s six public baccalaureate colleges and universities, 34 community and technical colleges, 10 members of the Independent Colleges of Washington, as well as the 10 members of the Washington Student Achievement Council.
Western`s commitment to our undocumented students, and our policies regarding immigration status will not change. We will continue to monitor the situation at the national and the local level so that we can proactively plan to protect student safety and provide educational support. And, we will continue working with local, state, and national partners, including those in government, to advocate for preserving DACA and the protections and opportunities it affords.
If you or someone you know may be affected by a change to DACA, I encourage you to seek out the information and resources available through Student Outreach Services. We will be updating these resources continually as more information becomes available.
The uncertainty and anxiety created by this announcement today, and over the next six months, is extremely difficult for our undocumented students and their families. Please know that Western is committed to your safety and success. I want to reiterate that Western does not undertake efforts with federal immigration enforcement authorities to investigate, detain or arrest individuals, and that we do not release student educational records to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Customs and Border Protection (CBP) or other third party official without written consent of the student, unless a legal exception to release such records applies.
For those who would like to provide personal financial support for Western`s undocumented students, the WWU Foundation has created two crowdfunding opportunities here: www.vikingfunder.com/undocumented. The Undocumented Students Resource Fund in particular was established to help meet critical needs of undocumented students, from help with tuition to housing, food, and other emergency expenses.