Dominican University is deeply saddened by last week’s decision by the Texas federal district court, effectively blocking any new applications for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. U.S. District Court Judge Andrew Haney ruled that the DACA program, introduced by President Obama in 2012, was illegal because it exceeded powers Congress granted to executive-branch agencies. While current DACA recipients can continue to file for renewal, that opportunity is now in jeopardy. This decision throws into further limbo the lives of hundreds of thousands of undocumented young people, many of whom are Dominican students, and gravely impacts their employers, families, and communities.
Since its introduction, DACA has granted work permits and provided protection from deportation for more than 600,000 young immigrants brought to the U.S. as children. We believe that providing safety and support to students who are threatened because of their citizenship status, race, class, sex, gender identity, or religion transcends politics. We are compelled by our mission to advocate for and accompany students, families, and other members of our university community who face uncertain futures because they are undocumented.
This is the foundation of sanctuary at Dominican. To that end, in 2020, we renewed and extended our original Sanctuary Campus Covenant. Our renewed covenant was crafted in response to emerging threats to our community members’ well-being, the most immediate being the potential for the U.S. Supreme Court to approve the repeal of DACA.
We urge Congress to pass legislation ensuring a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. Until then, Dominican will continue to support and advocate for our vulnerable community members. Those who are interested in supporting undocumented immigrants can find concrete action steps at https://unitedwedream.org.
Chief Diversity Officer
Vice President, Student Success and Engagement