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Lane Community College Statement on Trump Ending DACA

Following the Trump administartion's announcement this morning that it will end "DACA -- a program that had protected nearly 800,000 young undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children from deportation," Lane Community College President Margaret Hamilton sent a statement to LCC employess addressing the move on Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals, saying, "We must do everything we can to prevent harm to our students if this happens."

The full email is below.

It is with dismay and determination that I write to you regarding today’s news that the White House plans to phase out the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. We must do everything we can to prevent harm to our students if this happens.

As you no doubt know from your own experience, DACA is critically important to community college students throughout the United States, including at Lane. DACA affects more than 750,000 young people nationally and an estimated 21,000 in Oregon. We’re not sure exactly how many students are affected at Lane because at LCC, we do not record immigration status. We do know they are here and part of our Lane family.

Lane Community College is proud to be an open-access institution. Our mission is to serve and educate all members of our community. It is our commitment to inclusiveness that makes LCC a safe haven for all our students.

In June, the board adopted a policy, Protection of Immigrant Students, to clarify our intent to provide “access to higher education for all students regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, national origin, immigration status, age, disability, gender or gender identity.” The college also issued a statement on August 31 reaffirming our position, as news began to emerge about the White House position. The statement is on our home page.

In anticipation of today’s DACA decision, I reached out to my executive team and others over the weekend to be clear that it is our priority to work with you to determine how changes to DACA will affect our students and what we need to do to support them. I also directed my staff to identify an office on campus to coordinate information and services for undocumented students and publish updated information to the college website.

The Department of Homeland Security will stop processing new applications for DACA as of today. It will continue to renew permits for anyone whose status expires in the next six months—meaning Congress does have time to act before any currently protected individuals lose their ability to work, study and live without fear of deportation. Our leadership team will continue to call on Congress to act responsibly and humanely and protect students.

I have great faith in all of you. Though I haven’t been here long, I have found a dedication to students in each and every one of you whom I’ve met. That is so affirming!

Thank you for your partnership and rest assured that it is an additional priority for our leadership team to do whatever we can to help those impacted by today’s news.