President Herbst Responds to DACA Decision

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To the UConn Community,

Today it was announced that President Trump would sign an executive order effectively ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in six months and immediately begin rejecting new DACA requests.

DACA is a program for undocumented individuals who were brought to the United States when they were children or young teens, and have since graduated from high school. It allows those who enroll in the program to work in the U.S., attend colleges and universities, and/or serve in the U.S. military without fear of deportation.

Here is a public statement released by Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy:

“President Trump’s wrong-minded decision to turn back the clock on DACA is completely nonsensical. From elementary and secondary education, to post-secondary education, to supports for vibrant, safe communities – we have invested so much into undocumented children who have grown up in America.  Denying these youths with access to work opportunities and affordable higher education goes against the very core of who we are.  The fact is, pushing these young, gifted individuals into the shadows not only diminishes their chance for a bright future, but it darkens ours, too.  We know that our state stands to benefit from welcoming Dreamers, and their talents, to our communities and our workplaces.  The rollback of DACA would be a disastrous mistake for not only Dreamers, but our entire nation.  I urge Congress to act swiftly to reverse this misguided action and enact protections for the over 10,000 youth in Connecticut, and hundreds of thousands more across the country, who are now at risk through no fault of their own.”

Here is a public statement I have released:

“The young people who are the beneficiaries of the DACA program were brought to the United States when they were children or young teenagers. Today, students in the DACA program who are enrolled at UConn have proven themselves to be talented, hard-working and ambitious, which is how they gained admission and why they are succeeding academically. Like all of our graduates, after earning their degrees they can continue to lead positive, productive lives, contributing to our economy and our communities. Above all, these bright young people are striving to succeed. That sense of hope and opportunity represents the great promise of the United States and our higher education system. Today’s action would have us turn our backs on them. That is cruel, unjustified and ultimately self-defeating.”

The university has grave concerns regarding the impact this action will have on affected students. In addition to raising the specter of deportation, impacted students may not be able to complete employment components of their degree programs, continue graduate assistantships, or earn an income to cover tuition and living expenses.

UConn staff are reviewing the order to determine the exact scope and timing of its impact. We are hopeful that Congress will use the six months noted in the executive order to pass legislation granting a permanent pathway for those affected to continue to live, work, and be educated in the U.S. without fear of deportation.

Please know that UConn will do all we are able to do in an effort to accommodate affected students in order to help them complete their studies or explore alternate requirements or courses of study as appropriate. Impacted undergraduate UConn students should reach out to the Dean of Students office or the office of the Chief Diversity Officer. Impacted graduate students should reach out to the Dean’s office in the Graduate School.


Susan Herbst