Wednesday, November, 30th, 2016 Speeches and Messages
November 30, 2016
Dear Members of the Tufts University Community,
Tufts University has been a leader in admitting DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and undocumented students at the undergraduate level. These students, who were brought to our country by their families, have distinguished themselves academically and contributed positively to their communities.
High-achieving students who have earned a place at Tufts deserve the opportunity to obtain their degree and use that education to better our society. In May, I tasked a working group with ensuring that these students receive the support, financial aid and other resources they need to succeed at Tufts. We remain committed to that goal.
These students entered college in accordance with federal policies in place when they were admitted. Their studies must not be disrupted should the federal government reconsider existing immigration policies. We will of course continue to assess the impact on Tufts of any new federal policies. In the meantime, as an institution, we call on the new administration to reaffirm that DACA is a just and equitable policy that is vitally important to higher education and good for the prosperity of the nation. I have joined more than 400 college and university presidents from across the U.S. in signing a statement calling for the continuation and expansion of the DACA program.*
I believe it is important at this time that we enhance our efforts to support and protect our DACA and undocumented students. To this end, we will ensure they have access to legal counsel who can advise them on their status. The university will not provide information about our students or assist in the enforcement of immigration laws except as mandated by a subpoena, warrant, or court order. We will continue to cooperate with law enforcement investigations into serious criminal activity or threats to public safety or security. Our policy is consistent with what Somerville, one of our host communities, has had in place for some time.
Tufts was founded as an institution that welcomes and values students from every walk of life, and we have a moral responsibility to safeguard the well-being of every member of our community. We will not waver from those core values. We take great pride in the diversity of our university community and our nation, because everyone learns and benefits from a variety of perspectives. Our support for our DACA and undocumented students reflects our mission and values as a university.
*As of November 30, 2016