TYRA WU ‘19
President McCartney issued a response after U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced on September 5 the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy on behalf of the Trump administration. DACA is a policy implemented in 2012 under President Obama that allows some undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children to pursue education and employment opportunities.
President McCartney’s response to the decision, via email to the Smith community, said the decision to end DACA is “antithetical to Smith College’s commitment to access and opportunity as well as a threat to valued members of our community and to hundreds of thousands of people across the country.”
She emphasized that Smith will not take action that would put members of the community at risk, including resisting the release of student citizenship information unless legally compelled to do so.
The Sophian reached out to Nosotr@s, the unity club for Latin-American and Hispanic students, for comment on McCartney’s response and did not receive answer at the time of reporting.
Several other institutions including the Amherst College and University of Massachusetts at Amherst have made similar statements in the wake of last week’s news. Amherst College’s President Carolyn “Biddy” Martin responded on the college’s website by stating, “It is a travesty to put the promise of hundreds of thousands of people in jeopardy, subjecting them to the threat of deportation and hindering their ability to make their mark on the world.” Martin also pledged to continue to recruit students meet every student’s full financial need, regardless of citizenship.
Although DACA has been rescinded by executive order with a six-month delay, a congressional solution is still possible. According to reporting by Politico, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is still focused on securing protections for “Dreamers” this month.
“We cannot leave this session of Congress without passing the DREAM Act,” Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill said, referencing a bipartisan bill that offers Dreamers a pathway to citizenship.
While the fate of the Dreamers remains uncertain, President McCartney said in her statement that “We must support every student in pursuing an education in an environment of safety and stability. We are a strong and caring community, and we will continue to live our values every day.”