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Chancellor: Syracuse University remains committed to protecting undocumented students after end to DACA program

Wasim Ahmad | Staff Photographer

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program was founded by former President Barack Obama's administration in June 2012.

UPDATED: Sept. 5 at 8:39 p.m.

Syracuse University Chancellor Kent Syverud on Tuesday said SU remains committed to protecting undocumented students, shortly after U.S. Attorney General Jeff Session announced an end to the Obama-era DACA program.

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program aimed to protect undocumented children who were brought into the U.S. as minors. Rescinding DACA was one of President Donald Trump’s major campaign promises.

“Many members of our campus community have been working tirelessly, in the event of today’s announcement, to provide support, response and action to those affected by changing immigration laws,” said Syverud in an email to the campus community.

DACA beneficiaries currently in the U.S. will not be affected by the program’s end over the next five months, the Department of Homeland Security announced on Tuesday.

In the email, Syverud praised SU’s Ad Hoc Committee on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)/Undocumented Students for its short-term recommendations on how SU can support students affected by DACA. Congress now has five months to decide whether some DACA protections should be extended past March 2018.

Multiple high-ranking university officials serve on the ad hoc committee, which was formed in February. SU community members last year called on Syverud to protect undocumented students during Trump’s presidency. Margaret Himley, associate provost for international education and engagement, is one committee member.

SU recently adopted new “pathway to degree” protocols to help students affected by Trump’s changes to immigration policy. The protocols aim to assist students who might be refused re-entry to the U.S. or deported while still studying at the university.

The committee in July also recommended the university establish a scholarship for DACA and undocumented students, among other things.

Syverud said students worried about DACA should contact Jennifer Gavilondo, associate general counsel for international services. Counseling services will be open to students, the chancellor added.

“We will remain steadfast in our commitment to welcome people from all over the world as members of our campus community,” Syverud said.

The post has been updated with appropriate style. 

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