University President Ronald J. Daniels and Provost Sunil Kumar issued a statement on Wednesday pledging support to students who might be affected by U.S. President Donald Trump’s recension of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Act (DACA).
The Obama administration implemented DACA following an executive order in June 2012 to protect children who moved to the U.S. illegally with their parents. DACA grants a renewable period of deferred action on deportation and access to work visas for immigrants who moved to this country before the age of 16. The DREAM act is a legislative bill that would codify many of the provisions of DACA in law.
In an email to students, faculty and staff, Daniels wrote that the University had long supported legislation written to protect affected children, sometimes known as “DREAMers.”
“Over the past seven years, Johns Hopkins has publicly supported the Dream Act,” Daniels wrote.
On Tuesday, President Trump rescinded the program but delayed the implementation by six months, giving Congress a timeline to pass legislation replacing the program.
In the email, Daniels addressed the need for legislative action from Congress.
“This decision raises the ante on the need for urgent Congressional action,” Daniels wrote. “In the weeks and months ahead, we will join with other universities to advocate vigorously on behalf of Dreamers at Johns Hopkins.”
Many critics of DACA perceived the executive order as an attempt to override previously established immigration laws.
Daniels elaborated on how the University would work to protect students affected by the decision.
“For students who are directly affected by the decision to end DACA protections, we will provide emergency aid or other financial support to ensure they can complete their degrees,” he wrote. “In addition, students seeking legal or other assistance related to DACA may contact the Provost’s Office of International Services, which will connect them with available resources.”
DREAMer students are vulnerable because their immigration status is recorded by their university, but Daniels affirmed that Hopkins would protect the immigration status of its students.
“The University will not provide information about the immigration status of members of our community unless required by law,” he wrote. “We will not permit law enforcement or other officials to access private spaces on our campuses to enforce immigration laws absent a valid warrant or court order.”