Faust and Khurana Condemn DACA Elimination
In a message to the University community today, President Drew Faust condemned the announced elimination of Deferral for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), the Obama-era executive-branch program that shielded from deportation undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children. The program affects about 800,000 immigrants, including at least a few dozen Harvard students. “Today’s announcement of the elimination, in six months, of [DACA] represents a course of action that challenges some of the most foundational values of our nation and American higher education,” Faust wrote. “This cruel policy recognizes neither justice nor mercy. In the months to come, we will make every effort to have our voice heard, in the halls of Congress and elsewhere, about the need for the protections of DACA to continue.”
College dean Rakesh Khurana followed her message with an email to undergraduates this afternoon: “I wish to make abundantly clear that Harvard College stands for equality, diversity, and opportunity for everyone,” he wrote. “As a child growing up in New York City, I regularly visited the Statue of Liberty with my family. As a first-generation immigrant born to parents who were once refugees, I believed that America’s exceptionalism was in the generosity of its people.”
Faust had written to President Donald Trump last week urging his administration to maintain the program, and today urged congressional leaders to protect the affected group through legislative means. She advised affected students to seek guidance from the Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program at Harvard Law School, which recently hired an attorney to support undocumented members of the Harvard community. The University maintains a website of information for undocumented students.
The University “will maintain its existing financial aid policies, which provide funding to students without reference to immigration status, and the Harvard University Police Department—which is not involved in the enforcement of federal immigration laws—will maintain its practice of not inquiring about the immigration status of students, staff, or faculty,” Faust added. Read her complete statement here.