A letter from A. Gabriel Esteban, Ph.D., to the university community in regard to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program
Sept. 5, 2017
Today President Trump announced that he is rescinding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA, and called on Congress to replace the policy with legislation. Since 2012, DACA has allowed undocumented immigrants who arrived in the United States as children, including some of our DePaul students, to receive temporary work authorization and protection from deportation.
While the immediate effects of this change in immigration policy are not known, I will reiterate and pledge my support to a message that DePaul administrators have shared with you in the past: DePaul has always welcomed students regardless of their citizenship status, and we will maintain an unwavering commitment to undocumented students who choose this university for their education.
As part of that commitment, we will continue working with community organizations to encourage a legislative solution for immigration reform. DePaul's Undocumented Student Working Group will continue seeking methods of support for undocumented students, a task that has gained more urgency in light of today’s presidential action.
DePaul also will continue to make available extensive resources to assist if you have questions or know of students who are uncertain about the implications of their legal status.
- Patricia Santoyo-Marin, associate director in the Office of Multicultural Student Success, is DePaul’s new liaison to undocumented students who are in need of information or resources. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (773) 325-2855.
- Students have access to Croak Student Legal Services, located in the Lincoln Park Student Center, which provides free legal services as well as referrals to external resources.
- The DePaul Asylum and Immigration Law Clinic can assist students and their families. They have also developed a referral list of low-cost legal service providers who provide assistance in DACA cases and have engaged DePaul College of Law alumni to provide one-on-one consultations for DACA and undocumented students. For appointments students can contact Jenny Freundt at email@example.com.
- University Counseling Services and University Ministry both stand ready to support students more personally as they balance the stress that such uncertainty brings.
- More broadly, the DePaul’s Immigrant and Refugee webpage and DREAM webpage list both internal and external resources for undocumented and immigrant students. The DREAM resource guide, developed by DePaul's Undocumented Student Working Group, provides scholarships and financial aid resources and support services at DePaul and in the greater Chicago community.
Our students affected by DACA are fine young people trying to survive a challenging situation not of their own making. They are as much a part of Chicago as any students, and they deserve a chance to fully contribute to our culture and economy. The experience my wife and I had immigrating to the United States is evidence of the transformative power of education and the good that comes from providing support to students through trying life circumstances. I encourage the U.S. government to find a permanent solution that helps these students realize the American dream.
As always, thank you for your care for DePaul and this community.