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President Robert Barchi urges action to preserve DACA protections

Rutgers University President: Ending DACA Would Be ‘Wrong, Unwise and Inconsistent with American Values’


Rutgers University President Robert Barchi today said that eliminating in six months the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program would be “wrong, unwise and inconsistent with American values,” as he assured undocumented students that Rutgers is committed to supporting their successful completion of Rutgers degrees.
Barchi called on the Congress to meet the President’s challenge to legislatively enact DACA protections and he pledged support for all Rutgers students and for advocacy efforts to safeguard the program until comprehensive immigration reform is enacted.
“The young people who have applied for DACA protection in the hope of a productive and successful life in this country came forward and provided their personal information to the federal government in good faith,” Barchi said in a letter to the Rutgers community co-signed by the university’s four chancellors. “Rescinding this protection, after they have voluntarily identified themselves, is diametrically opposed to any sense of fairness, let alone compassion for their situation.”
Barchi acknowledged the stress the Trump administration’s announcement will cause for undocumented students and their families and he assured students who are covered by the New Jersey DREAM Act – which enables undocumented students who are longtime N.J. residents to attend Rutgers at in-state tuition rates – that they will continue to be eligible for the benefit.
“We were successful in advocating for a NJ DREAM Act that did not rely on DACA, and it was the right decision,” Barchi said.
In a letter to the Rutgers community, President Barchi also said:
Rutgers will continue to employ admissions policies that do not consider immigration status.
Rutgers will continue to protect the privacy of all students. Student records will not be provided to anyone unless required by a warrant, subpoena or court order. The university will continue to offer support and legal guidance to any student affected by the DACA decision.
The most effective response to President Trump’s announcement is to enact federal legislation, such as an amended version of the BRIDGE Act, a bill with broad bipartisan support in Congress that would extend DACA protections, until comprehensive immigration reform is enacted.
In a separate letter to students, the university president urged those who are interested in advocating for passage of an amended BRIDGE Act to reach out to members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. When the university encouraged similar advocacy earlier this year, more than 20,000 electronic letters were sent to members of the House and Senate urging enactment of similar legislation.
Barchi emphasized that participating in this effort is entirely optional and that the university is offering the opportunity because many in the community have participated in activities to bring attention to the plight and status of undocumented students.
The Rutgers president also sent a letter last week to President Trump urging him to continue the DACA program.
“We have made a pledge to these young people, and we owe it to them to be true to our word,” Barchi wrote. “Far from threatening our society, the DACA program enriches us by enabling honest, hard-working young people to make a better life for themselves and make valuable contributions to our national workforce.”
“Even if the ultimate elimination of DACA does not lead to imminent deportation, it would be a very troubling decision that harms good people who have done nothing wrong, and I am determined to do all I can to advocate for action that preserves the protections that DACA offered,” Barchi told the Rutgers community.

Click here to read President Barchi's statement.


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