Message to Students, Faculty, and Staff — DACA (September 5, 2017)

To students, faculty, and staff,

By now, many of you will have heard of President Trump’s decision to terminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, with a “wind down” period that ends when the program expires six months from now on March 5, 2018. This is a profoundly disappointing decision—one that places in jeopardy many people, including college students, who came to this country as children, who have worked hard, followed the rules, and earned success, and who now face a very uncertain future for themselves and their family members.

As I stated clearly during the last academic year in messages about DACA and President Trump’s executive order on immigration, our College stands with these students, their families, and the many others who are affected. They are strong, resilient, and courageous people who have overcome tremendous obstacles and who seek only to better their own lives and to contribute to our society. Immigrants and the children of immigrants are essential and invaluable to our nation, our history, and our campus community. Here at Bowdoin, we continue to safeguard privacy and confidentiality, including immigration status, for members of our community. Safety and Security personnel do not enforce immigration laws or make inquiries about the immigration status of students or employees. And because we are a small and close-knit community, we are in touch with those who may be at risk and we are supporting them.

This matter is now in the hands of Congress, and we have reached out to members of the Maine congressional delegation to express the College’s deep concern about today’s action and our support for bipartisan legislation that will protect DACA recipients.

What can you do? You can reach out to representatives and senators in your own states to let them know your views on this issue (you can familiarize yourself with DACA here). You can send an email or post your views on social media, but the most effective way to participate is to call their offices and speak with a staff member. You can look up your House member by entering your zip code here, and you can find links to Senate offices here. Once you’ve found your representative and senators, visit their official websites for their contact information and give them a call.

There will be much discussion and debate on the future of DACA in the coming months, and this is an opportunity for your voice to matter. In the meantime, we will continue to do everything we can within the law to assist and support every member of the Bowdoin community. Those with questions or concerns should contact Leana Amaez, associate dean of students for diversity and inclusion and co-director of the Sexuality, Women, and Gender Center (207-725-3048 or​).