Sunday, February 18, 2018

UTSA responds to federal government’s decision to end DACA

UTSA responds to federal government’s decision to end DACA

(Sept. 5, 2017) -- UTSA President Taylor Eighmy today responded to the Trump Administration’s decision to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), assuring UTSA students of the university’s full commitment to their privacy, their rights and their goal to get a top quality education.

In a publicly released statement, Eighmy said:

“DACA students have enriched our university and our community. They know of no other home than the United States, and they have worked hard to get their education. They are eager to become productive members of society, contributing to our economic well-being as scientists, doctors, engineers and teachers.

As a Hispanic-Serving Institution, UTSA proudly embraces diversity and inclusion. DACA students have helped build a campus culture where everyone is welcomed and everyone belongs. Perhaps most importantly, they have persisted against the odds and succeeded, demonstrating the core American values of educational advancement, determination and hard work. We are working closely with our congressional delegation to seek relief through legislation that maintains DACA status and opportunities. We will be working closely, in coordination with community partners, to bring support and provide resources to our own DACA students and DACA students throughout San Antonio.”

Eighmy sent a letter to the 36 members of the Texas Congressional delegation and the state’s two U.S. Senators, urging them to take Congressional action to protect DACA students, also known as DREAMers. In the letter, he wrote:

“I would encourage you to support and call for immediate passage of legislation that would codify DACA protections into law and mitigate the disruption that DACA termination would otherwise have on these young people’s lives.

One such effort is the BRIDGE Act, which would provide temporary relief from deportation and employment authorization to DACA recipients or DACA eligible individuals while Congress debates legislation addressing a permanent solution.”

Across UTSA’s campuses, President Eighmy will be working closely with key areas to ensure that the university continues to meet the unique needs of its DACA students. These areas include Undergraduate Admissions, Graduate Admissions, Financial Aid and Counseling Services. Students are encouraged to contact the Student Affairs Ombudsperson, Carol Gonzalez, at 210-458-4040 for assistance.

While UTSA will comply with its legal obligations, it does not track the number of DACA students that are enrolled at the institution and, in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), does not release the personal information of its students, outside of public directory information.

Students who are currently enrolled at UTSA that want to restrict access to some or all of their public records need to file a Restrict Student Directory Information Request form, available on the Office of the Registrar website.

UT System Chancellor William McRaven also issued a statement in response to the Trump administration’s decision, saying:

“These students consider themselves to be Americans and Texans, proud of the state they see as their home. They, like others, have served our nation with distinction in their academic pursuits, in our nation’s military, and as productive members of society. This service should be applauded and honored. Our nation should recognize the potential in these students, granting them the opportunity to pursue their education and enter the workforce in this country.”                  

Read more about President Taylor Eighmy's thoughts on DACA.

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