With the U.S. administration’s decision today to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, I want to reaffirm the University of Florida’s commitment to our students of undocumented parents and our support for this program. We join the Association of American Universities (AAU) and hundreds of other colleges in support of DACA students and urge Congress to pass bipartisan legislation to permanently protect these young men and women from deportation and ensure they can continue to contribute their talents to America.
Embracing all members of our community by maintaining a welcoming environment for talented students is vital to our values and identity. The DACA program and our “Dreamers” add significantly to our university’s excellence in education, research, and the economic impact the university has on our state.
For many in our community and on our campus, the fate of this program causes anxiety, fear and adds stress, hampering their academic pursuits. Please know that the University of Florida is committed to keeping student records private, consistent with state and federal laws. We do not collect or provide information on immigration status except when required by law.
To our students who are affected, I encourage you to seek community and talk to someone about your concerns. UF offers confidential counseling services to any student or employee in distress, which may be accessed through the U Matter We Care program. We at UF do not yet have all the answers, but we are in the process of compiling a dedicated website on this matter with information and resources, http://www.ufsa.ufl.edu/daca.
I stand with all our students and will work to ensure access to education in our state.