BY SAMUEL STEVENS
Salisbury University President Janet Dudley-Eshbach released a statement September 6 regarding the decision by President Donald Trump to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which allows children of undocumented immigrants to stay in the US legally.
SU’s president “strongly supported” the Association’s statements, and urged continued support for the beneficiaries of the program, and that it was in line with Salisbury’s core mission as a university.
Dudley-Eshbach’s message to the SU campus community included a statement from the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, of which SU is a member.
The Association stated it was “profoundly disappointed with, and strongly oppose, the administration’s decision.”
The statement also said that ending DACA is “as unnecessary as it is cruel.”
There was another show of support for undocumented immigrants on September 7, when chalk messages displaying pro-immigrant and diversity messages appeared around Conway Hall.
In addition to supporting “Dreamers” under DACA, SU provides assistance to undocumented students.
According to the admissions web site, “Salisbury University welcomes applications from undocumented students as part of its multicultural and inclusive academic environment.”
The admissions office also provides links and information for a number of scholarships available to students who have received delayed action status.
SU has shown a history of support for undocumented students.
In March 2015, Multicultural Student Services hosted a forum with “policy information, discussions, and students’ firsthand accounts of their experiences” of relevant Maryland and federal laws on their immigration status.
The statement from SU included a link to the letter of University System of Maryland Chancellor Robert L. Caret, who advocated for Congress to extend the program.
Caret stressed that “educating every qualified student, regardless of background,” as a core tenant of the USM’s overall goals.
He also wrote that Maryland, and the nation, should not shun potential productive members of the workforce.
The chancellor affirmed a commitment to inclusion for USM. “Marylanders participating in the DACA program are our neighbors, our students, and our friends…and enrich our state and our campuses immeasurably.”
Dreamers gain delayed action on their status for up to two years, with possibility for renewal.
In Maryland, they are eligible for in-state tuition after one year of having delayed status with other qualifications such as high school or community college attendance.
The state has had around twenty thousand deferred cases, either initial requests or renewals, according to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services report titled “Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” for Fiscal Year 2017.
A CBS News story reports that the Trump administration circulated talking points advising undocumented immigrants to self deport, despite the six month delay in ending the program.