Date July 21, 2021
Media Contact

Letter from President Paxson: In support of Brown’s DACA community

President Christina H. Paxson wrote to the campus community about the University's unwavering support for students and employees who benefit from the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — In light of a recent federal court ruling that threatens the security of individuals who benefit from the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), Brown President Christina H. Paxson wrote to students, faculty and staff to reaffirm the University’s steadfast support for DACA students and employees.

On July 16, a federal district court judge in Texas ruled that DACA is illegal, a decision that blocks all new applications to the program and indicates that the processing of future renewals for those already enrolled in the program may too be blocked. President Joseph Biden has stated that the U.S. Department of Justice will appeal the ruling.

“We know that those with DACA status bring talent, creativity, perseverance and fortitude to businesses, civic organizations, schools and their communities,” Paxson wrote in her July 21 letter. “At Brown, those with DACA status are valued members of our community, and we are committed to advocating for Congress to establish, preserve and defend their rights.”

Brown also joined more than 200 leaders of higher education and business organizations in signing a letter organized by the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration and the American Business Immigration Coalition in support of the Senate Dream Act of 2021, which would provide a path to citizenship for DACA recipients and DACA-eligible individuals.

The full text of Paxson’s letter to the community is included below.

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Dear Members of the Brown Community,

In light of a recent federal court ruling that threatens the security of hundreds of thousands of individuals who benefit from the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), I am writing to express Brown’s steadfast and unwavering support for our DACA students and employees.

On July 16, a federal district court judge in Texas ruled that the DACA program is illegal, a decision that blocks all new applications to allow undocumented immigrants who arrived in the United States as children to remain in the country. Under the ruling, current DACA recipients are allowed to continue to be enrolled in the program and apply for renewals. However, the judge indicated that the processing of future renewals could be blocked. President Biden has stated that the U.S. Department of Justice will appeal the ruling to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

The University has long played a leadership role in advocating for the protection of DACA with state and federal elected and appointed officials, as well as for a permanent legislative solution that will provide those with DACA status an expedited path to lawful, permanent citizenship. Following last week’s court proceedings, Brown has joined more than 200 leaders of higher education and business in signing on to a letter organized by the Presidents’ Alliance and the American Business Immigration Coalition in support of the Senate Dream Act of 2021, which would provide a path to citizenship for DACA recipients and DACA-eligible individuals.

We know that those with DACA status bring talent, creativity, perseverance and fortitude to businesses, civic organizations, schools and their communities. At Brown, those with DACA status are valued members of our community, and we are committed to advocating for Congress to establish, preserve and defend their rights.

There are a number of resources available at Brown for undocumented and DACA students through the Undocumented, First-Generation College and Low-Income Student Center. As always, we want our community to be assured that Brown does not share information with law enforcement regarding the immigration status of undocumented or DACA status students, and would not without a subpoena or other lawfully issued court order. Brown’s Department of Public Safety does not inquire about or act upon information related to immigration status, and does not partner with federal or state agencies to do so.

Any students with concerns are encouraged to contact the Undocumented, First-Generation College and Low-Income Student Center at [email protected]. Any employees with concerns should contact [email protected].

Supporting a just and inclusive community at Brown remains our unyielding priority, and the University will continue to advocate for policies and laws that ensure the full protection of every member of our community.

Sincerely,

Christina H. Paxson
President

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