Statement regarding upcoming DACA decision
September 5, 2017
Dear Members of the Brandeis Community,
As you know, published reports suggest that President Trump plans to end DACA, the Deferred Action against Childhood Arrivals program that protects numerous students on our own campus from deportation. This news is very upsetting, undermines the academic endeavors of our own students, and is contrary to our basic values.
To the students directly affected by this decision and to everyone at Brandeis: we remain committed to the safety, well-being, and educational success of all our undocumented students. That commitment will not change. It is also important to note that our current information suggests that the White House would delay enforcement of the expected decision for six months.
At this time, we are consulting with other universities and immigration attorneys to make sure we are doing everything we can to keep our undocumented students safe and in school. As we learn more about how to address this situation, we will inform the campus of our progress.
Earlier, President Liebowitz sent a letter to President Trump at The White House, which we have included for your information, below.
Ron Liebowitz, President
Lisa Lynch, Provost
Andrew Flagel, Senior Vice President for Students and Enrollment
Stew Uretsky, Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration
Ira Jackson, Senior Vice President for Communications and External Relations
Mark Brimhall-Vargas, Chief Diversity Officer and Vice President for Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion
Sheryl Sousa, Vice President for Student Affairs
Jamele Adams, Dean of Students
Madeleine Lopez, Director, Intercultural Center
Liza Stern, Interim Director for Religious and Spiritual Life
Jacob Edelman, President, Brandeis Student Union
September 5, 2017
Via E-mail and First-Class Mail
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. President,
It is with a heavy heart that I write to you this morning. Public and published reports indicate that you intend to do away with DACA, perhaps offering a six-month moratorium within which Congress might act to reform or preserve the program. Those same reports indicate that this step will only hurt law enforcement and our own economy.
Dreamers and others affected by DACA regularly contribute to the health of our entire community, and play a special role in higher education, where they are embraced and welcomed. Through no fault of their own, these young people have arrived in the United States, have expressed loyalty to this country, and have provided service and benefits to our society.
Here at Brandeis University, we value our DACA students, who enrich our campus in many ways and are integral to our community.
Reversing DACA inflicts harsh punishment on the innocent. As a nation founded by immigrants, we can, should, and must do better.
I ask you to exercise responsible leadership and to maintain DACA. Congress has shown an inability over many years to deal with the immigration issue, and with so many other legislative priorities looming in a stalemated and dysfunctional Washington, putting the burden on the legislative process to resolve the future of these 800,000 young Americans is unlikely to yield a positive outcome.
I implore you to exercise political courage and moral leadership in maintaining DACA and upholding the highest traditions of American values.
Ronald D. Liebowitz