President Turner issues SMU statement on DACA program

SMU President R. Gerald Turner has issued a statement regarding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, including a number of University resources for students needing support.

The Trump Administration announced its intention to end the DACA program in six months. Congressional action will be required to set a new policy regarding childhood arrivals – undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as minors by their parents.

President Turner shared this message via e-mail dated Friday, Sept. 8, 2017:

Dear SMU community,

The federal government announced this week that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program will end in six months, unless Congress takes action. DACA offers temporary legal protection to undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children. Nearly 200,000 young people in Texas are enrolled in DACA, including valued members of our campus community.

SMU joins universities across the country that are deeply concerned by the uncertainty of this situation. While debate on this issue continues, SMU’s mission remains unchanged. We seek to recruit, retain and graduate academically and creatively gifted students from diverse backgrounds, and we seek to provide these students with the opportunity to become society’s innovators, leaders and informed citizens. We know that all SMU students and graduates have within themselves the ability to be world changers who make significant contributions to our increasingly global society.

SMU will watch closely as Congress considers this issue. We are focused on supporting students and maintaining a welcoming, respectful environment in which all can pursue their academic goals. In addition, SMU will continue to act in accordance with University policies and state and federal laws, including the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which protects the privacy of students’ records and information.

Any student needing support may contact Student Affairs’ Caring Community Connections program online. Faculty, staff, family members and other students also may submit any concerns about students’ well-being to this program.

Additional SMU resources include:

·         Office of International Student & Scholar Services, 214-768-4475

·         Office of Multicultural Student Affairs, 214-768-4580

·         Confidential counselors at Counseling Services, 214-768-2277, and the Chaplain’s Office, 214-768-4502

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has frequently asked questions about this week’s decision online.

We will continue to carefully monitor this important issue. I ask all campus community members to continue your important work of shaping and becoming world changers in an environment that emphasizes individual dignity and worth.

Sincerely,

R. Gerald Turner
President