The following information was shared with Drake University students, faculty, and staff on Sept. 5, 2017.
Drake University has a proud history of welcoming and educating a wide and diverse array of students. In doing so, it has been, and will continue to be, our commitment to be a place of hope, opportunity, and profound educational development for students from all walks of life who seek to improve themselves and the world around them. This commitment lies at the core of our mission and we are resolved to proudly carry this mission forward into the future.
This past November, I shared with our community that I joined presidents from now more than 600 other colleges and universities calling for the continuation and expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Today, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Trump Administration is rescinding DACA effective March 5, 2018. AG Sessions stated that the six-month window before the full expiration of DACA is intended to give Congress an opportunity to replace DACA with legislation and to allow for an “orderly wind down” of the Obama Administration policy.
As a University, we gain strength from the fact that our community consist of people of different races, nationalities, religions, physical abilities, sexual orientations, ages, political perspectives, and other diverse characteristics. (Statement of Principles) We draw wisdom from this diversity that helps us foster a spirit of academic discovery through civil discourse and that enables us to confront the challenging political and social issues of our time with humility and compassion. We are inspired by this diversity to be an institution that transforms lives and strengthens communities.
At this time, there are many lingering questions in regards to today’s announcement. We are working to respond to student and family inquiries, and to ensure that we extend as much support to our DACA students as we can within the confines of the law. As a reminder, Drake University does not act on behalf of government agents to enforce immigration laws for the purpose of facilitating deportations and we guard the privacy of student records and information, including citizenship status.
Some specific matters that our DACA students should be aware of:
- DACA students traveling or planning to travel (domestic or international) should consult with Jerry Parker, Dean of Students (515-271-4088) as soon as possible for advice and guidance.
- DACA students can find a variety of Iowa immigration service providers through the Iowa Department of Human Rights website. In addition, Patricia Houlihan, Interim Director of Clinical Programs for the Drake Law School Neal & Bea Smith Legal Clinic, can also be contacted about DACA inquiries at 515-271-2824.
- DACA students can submit an anonymous inquiry using Drake’s Ethics Point service. Upon receipt of an inquiry, a response will be sent to the originating party back through the Ethics Point site.
- DACA students can contact Tony Tyler, Director of Student Engagement, Equity and Inclusion, at 515-271-3677, regarding any scholarship questions.
- For confidential counseling support, DACA students can contact the University Counseling Center at 515-271-3864.
Additionally, employees who have families with mixed immigration status and who are experiencing stress may contact Drake’s Employee Assistance Program at 515-244-6090 or 800-327-4692.
Over the coming months we all have a unique opportunity to participate in the debate regarding our country’s next iteration of immigration policy. I intend to be a part of this and I am sure many of you do as well. Thank you in advance for sharing your voice on this defining national issue.
Marty Martin | President