September 5, 2017
Dear Members of the Amherst Community:
Today President Trump made the reprehensible decision to rescind DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. As you know, DACA allowed young people to achieve the dreams in pursuit of which their families risked everything in coming to the United States. It gave them the opportunity to live in the open as they pursued an education and work in the country they consider theirs. It is a travesty to put the promise of hundreds of thousands of people in jeopardy, subjecting them to the threat of deportation and hindering their ability to make their mark on the world.
DACA recipients will begin losing their status in six months. I urge everyone in our community to contact your elected representatives and appeal to them to find a legislative remedy for the nearly 800,000 people who were brought to this nation as children and are Americans in all but immigration status. I have sent letters on behalf of the College to Senators Warren and Markey and Congressman McGovern. Please raise your voices and demand that Congress provide legal remedies well in advance of the six-month deadline.
We will keep our commitment to recruiting, admitting, and educating the most talented students regardless of where they were born or what resources their families might enjoy. We will also continue to meet every student’s full financial need, whether that student is an American citizen, a permanent resident, an international student, or an undocumented immigrant. We will be there in other ways for our students, offering counsel and support.
Staff at Amherst are aware of the impact President Trump’s decision could have on our students and their families, and are ready to take decisive action to help. The Office of Diversity and Inclusion is working with offices across the College to coordinate care. Any student negatively affected by today’s executive order should contact Tenzin Kunor, Associate Director of Diversity and Leadership, at 413.542.5763 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The resources that we are ready to deploy include access to an expert immigration attorney and the many offerings available through our Counseling Center.
Barring a lawfully issued subpoena or judicial order, the College will not share students’ records against their wishes with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), or any other government agency or individual. This is College policy, but it is also federal law (the 1974 Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, or FERPA). Faculty and staff, please be aware that federal law prohibits you from sharing information about a student with any third party without that student’s permission, including parents, reporters, law enforcement officers, or government agents. If anyone approaches you on or off campus asking about the status or whereabouts of a student, please immediately direct them to the Registrar’s Office at 101 Converse Hall.
Our campus police will not inquire about anyone’s legal status, and they will not take part in actions with ICE. Anyone concerned about these issues should consult the College’s website, where you will find a number of resources, including a link to printable instructions that you can carry with you in the event that a government official questions your legal status.
In the face of adversity, we remember what we stand for. Every student on our campus belongs here and deserves our support.