EDINBURG, RGV – Robert S. Nelsen, president of Sacramento State University, Guy Bailey, president of UT-Rio Grande Valley, and UT System Chancellor William H. McRaven have made their views known on DACA.
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program introduced by President Obama has been scrapped by President Trump. Trump is asking Congress to come up with a legislative fix before it goes away next March.
Nelsen, a former president of UT-Pan American, made his views known on You Tube. On a video uploaded on Aug. 31 he made clear his “unwavering commitment” to Sacramento State’s DREAMers and DACA students. Here is the link to his video message:
McRaven: Nation has benefited from attracting great students
Chancellor McRaven issued this statement:
“With today’s announcement by the Administration regarding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, I want to take a moment to share some thoughts.
“Our state and nation have benefited for decades by attracting and retaining great students, scholars, physicians, and researchers from around the world. As I have said before, the men and women who show up on our shores and at our doors – ready to study, work, and participate – make us stronger, smarter, more competitive, and more attuned to the rest of our ever-shrinking globe. Over time, we have seen that their contributions and discoveries help us secure our nation, care for our people, foster economic growth, and provide scientific expertise and innovation that improves the human condition.
“For years, Texas has supported students who were born in foreign countries but were brought here as children and raised in the U.S. In fact, Texas was among the first states to grant these Texas high school graduates the opportunity to pay in-state tuition, a benefit The University of Texas System continues to support.
“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.
“The UT System will always follow the law. And while I understand the concern of the President and others about how DACA was implemented, the critical fact is that I and the UT System believe in our DACA students and that their opportunities to contribute to Texas and our nation should be upheld and continued by our leaders in Washington. Congress must now act quickly to provide a bridge for these students to remain in the U.S. and become citizens.
“Let me also speak directly to you, our UT DACA students. You can be certain of our support as you continue to pursue your dreams – the American dream – to obtain an education and build a better future for you and your families. As UT adheres to federal and state laws regarding immigration, rest assured our campuses will remain places where you can safely study as Congress takes up this issue.
“The international competition for the best students, scholars, physicians and researchers is fierce. We need loud and clear signals that the U.S. and Texas will continue to seek out the foremost talents in the world and welcome them to our institutions. For its part, the UT System will always pursue young men and women from around the world who wish to learn, and the scholars and researchers who will train and educate them.”
Bailey: Access and Inclusion are Core University Values
President Bailey issued this statement:
“As the national conversation on immigration and DACA continues to evolve, I want to reaffirm that each student, staff and faculty member who makes up our UTRGV community is an important part of our university family. Regardless of place of birth or citizenship, each one of us contributes an important voice to our diverse campus. Please remember that Diversity, Access and Inclusion is one of our core university values; we should all live and express that value every day in our interactions with each other.
“For those of members of our campus community who continue to struggle with the uncertainty of our current immigration situation, a number of resources are available to help support you as national policy continues to develop.
• For students, the Student Life and Dean of Students offices are there for you. They are continuously updating their website Supporting Students Who are Undocumented, and are available to meet with students. Confidential support for personal issues or concerns is available through the Counseling Center.
• For staff, confidential support for personal issues or concerns is available through the UT Employee Assistance Program.
• For all of our UTRGV members, please remember that we have an unwavering commitment to treat each other with respect. If you encounter behaviors that make you feel unwelcome, please use any of the resources mentioned above to report that behavior, or contact our Office of Institutional Equity or the University Police Department. All of these are there to support you.
• Keep in mind that UTRGV does not and will not share student educational records – including citizenship and immigration records – with outside authorities without student consent, unless compelled to by law. (See additional details about FERPA at the UCentral website.) Also, the primary focus of UTRGV police remains to keep our campus community safe. They do not and will not ask students, faculty and staff about immigration status.
• The statement from Chancellor McRaven lays out the position of The UT System, and UTRGV, on DACA. Please refer to that statement for more information.
“Last week, I had the pleasure of hosting 2,000 of our students for lunch at the Picnic with the President. Each one of those students has dreams and aspirations, and it is an honor and a privilege to help them on that journey. Each one of our faculty and staff who have been working thanks to DACA have been important supporters for those students. We continue to stand firmly with them through the ups and downs of our national conversations.”