President Schatzel's Statement on DACA

September 5, 2017

President Kim Schatzel's statement on White House plans to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

Today, the White House announced its plans to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, effective March 5, 2018. The DACA program was created in 2012 and allowed undocumented immigrant individuals, brought to the U.S. as children, the temporary right to live, study and work legally in America.

This past weekend, I contacted legislative officials to express my continued strong support for DACA. These actions were in addition to my pledge last year for the Pomona College Statement—that was also signed by the University System of Maryland (USM) chancellor, other USM institutions, and more than 600 leaders nationwide—that advocates support for DACA and undocumented immigrant students, as well as my support for similar efforts by the Association of American State Colleges and Universities (AASCU). I encourage everyone to read these documents in their entirety.

The Pomona College Statement, signed by the presidents and chancellors of over 600 universities and colleges, states:

“Since the advent of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in 2012, we have seen the critical benefits of this program for our students, and the highly positive impacts on our institutions and communities. DACA beneficiaries on our campuses have been exemplary student scholars and student leaders, working across campus and in the community. With DACA, our students and alumni have been able to pursue opportunities in business, education, high tech, and the non-profit sector; they have gone to medical school, law school, and graduate schools in numerous disciplines. They are actively contributing to their local communities and economies.

“To our country’s leaders we say that DACA should be upheld, continued, and expanded. We are prepared to meet with you to present our case. This is both a moral imperative and a national necessity. America needs talent—and these students, who have been raised and educated in the United States, are already part of our national community. They represent what is best about America, and as scholars and leaders they are essential to the future.”

Despite these advocacy efforts by myself, colleagues and administrators from Towson University and hundreds of other institutions of higher education, the University System of Maryland and organizations such as AASCU and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU), in six months the DACA program will be rescinded for the 787,580 Dreamers it currently protects.

However, these advocacy efforts, including my personal efforts, will not end with today’s announcement, but instead will be directed towards Congress in support of a legislative solution to protect the current Dreamers, as well as a means to address the issue of undocumented minors going forward.

While Towson University fully complies with all federal requirements and laws, the university remains committed to fostering an environment where all of our students—regardless of their immigration status, race, religion, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation and levels of ableness—can thrive, flourish and realize their fullest potential.

As previously stated in my December 8, 2016 and January 28, 2017 communications to campus, in accordance with USM guidance we are committed to the following:

  1. Towson University will not permit immigration enforcement authorities to enter campus for an enforcement action without a warrant unless there is an exigent circumstance (e.g., risk of death) necessitating immediate action;
  2. Towson University will not voluntarily partner with immigration authorities to assist with enforcement activities;
  3. Towson University will not detain an immigrant at the request of immigration enforcement authorities;
  4. TUPD does not ask about nor record immigration status while serving and protecting the campus community;
  5. Pursuant to FERPA, Towson University will not provide immigration enforcement authorities with student records without a lawfully issued subpoena or court order.

Towson University will continue to follow USM guidance in understanding the full implications of this decision impacting DACA and our students. We will continue to support all members of our community to the greatest extent possible within the law. If you have questions about how this decision might affect you, please contact our university admissions office at . You can also access important financial aid and residency requirement information, as well as review answers to frequently asked questions, on our university website.

Additionally, the University of Baltimore School of Law and Baltimore’s Immigration Legal Resource Center will host an information session tomorrow (Wednesday, Sept. 6) at 12:30 p.m. in Room 135 of the William H. Thumel Sr. Business Center (home of the Merrick School of Business), 11 W. Mt. Royal Ave. If you or someone you know is affected by the DACA decision, this session may provide some guidance and reassurance. TU is also planning an information session to be held next week on our campus. As soon as the details are finalized we will communicate the date, time and place of the session to our entire campus community.

Finally, Towson University’s Counseling Center and Center for Student Diversity are prepared to support all members of our community that may be directly or indirectly impacted by this announcement. Please contact the Counseling Center at 410-704-2512, or the Center for Student Diversity at 410-704-2051, to receive the support you need.

At convocation just 11 days ago, I asked our incoming class of 2021 to make their mark on TU by building a more welcoming and inclusive place for all members of our campus community. Today, I want to reiterate that request to the entire campus community and ask that you join me in offering support and counsel to one another as well as reaffirming our university’s unwavering commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Kim Schatzel
President