Brandeis must continue to support students on DACA status

September 8, 2017

Since its founding, Brandeis has provided a refuge for students not welcome elsewhere. The 1948 Brandeis admissions brochure put “meeting the growing problem of discrimination against minority groups in American universities” as one of the university’s primary goals. In response to anti-semitism prominent in the admissions processes at other academic institutions, Brandeis set roots as a university home to Jewish and other minority students.

Brandeis has grown immensely in the last 50 years in both numbers and quality of education. In 1985 Brandeis became a member of the Association of American Universities, a prestigious organization of academic research institutions that includes Brown, Princeton and Yale. In 2002 the Shapiro Campus Center was built—an architectural feat that represented a continued commitment to the quality of student life.

This year, Brandeis welcomed its largest first-year class ever, with students from all over the world and the United States. Yet, as the academic programs, campus and student body continue to grow, the university must maintain an unwavering commitment to its original purpose—welcoming all students regardless of race, religion, immigration status, or any other identity. With Attorney General Jeff Session’s announcement this week to terminate Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, The Hoot stands proudly by the Brandeis administration as it takes a firm stance in support of its DACA students.

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy, an immigration policy passed by President Obama, has allowed people who entered the U.S. as minors to remain here without fear of deportation. However, with Trump’s call for Congress to address the status of these DACA individuals in the next six months, the safety and status of immigrants is threatened. These students are the subject of national debate and proposed policy, but, more importantly, they our study partners, dinner dates, teaching assistants, and teammates.

We applaud President Liebowitz for firmly championing DACA and the cherished presence of these students on campus in his letter to President Trump—an action that we believe embodies the spirit of Brandeis founders and today’s students. Leibowitz wrote that administrators have begun speaking with immigration attorneys to decide how to best protect every member of our community. We hope Brandeis will provide students on DACA status with the support they need, including making sure they are aware of resources they can seek out and the next steps they should take.

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