Johns Hopkins University President Ronald J. Daniels and Provost Sunil Kumar today reaffirmed the university's support for those affected by the Trump administration's decision to rescind a program that protects undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children, saying that JHU students directly impacted by the decision will be given the aid they need to complete their degrees.
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, allows certain undocumented immigrants—so-called Dreamers, who entered the U.S. before turning 16 and before January 2007—to receive a renewable two-year work permit and remain in the country without fear of deportation. Since it was enacted in 2012, nearly 800,000 people have received protections under the program.
On Tuesday, the Trump administration announced a move to end DACA, saying that the Department of Homeland Security will stop processing new applications. Individuals whose status expires within the next six months can renew their two-year permits by Oct. 5, giving Congress time to take action before anyone currently protected loses his or her ability to work or live in the U.S.
In a message to the Johns Hopkins community today, Daniels and Kumar echoed the support for DACA they voiced in a universitywide message sent on Dec. 20.
"Over the past seven years, Johns Hopkins has publicly supported the Dream Act and other legislative efforts to allow all students who have grown up in this country to enroll in college and contribute to our nation," Daniels and Kumar wrote today. "We believe that such a course is not only compelling in moral terms, but reflects a necessary and pragmatic acknowledgment of the untenable situation of the Dreamers and the need to provide a clear path that will allow them to lead lives of dignity and purpose in this country."
"This decision raises the ante on the need for urgent congressional action," they added. "In the meantime, the administration's action to rescind DACA without the assurance of a legislative solution cannot help but create anxiety and insecurity in the lives of those who were raised in America and are pursuing the American ideal of bettering themselves, their families, and their communities."
Students directly affected by the decision will receive "emergency aid or other financial support to ensure they can complete their degrees at Johns Hopkins," Daniels and Kumar noted. They encouraged students seeking legal advice or other assistance to contact the Office of International Services.
Additionally, they reiterated that the university will take steps to protect the privacy of its students, faculty, and staff—JHU will not disclose information about the immigration status of members of the Hopkins community unless required to do so by law, nor will it permit law enforcement to access private spaces on campus without a warrant or court order.
Any members of our community who are in need of counseling or other personal support services may contact the Counseling Center, the Johns Hopkins Student Assistance Program, University Health Services' Mental Health program, or the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program.
Daniels has been a vocal advocate for the rights of immigrants in the U.S. and for the value of welcoming people with diverse beliefs, ideas, and backgrounds. In November, he joined more than 600 college and university presidents from public and private institutions across the U.S. in signing a statement in support of DACA and undocumented immigrant students.
In February, he authored a personal message voicing opposition to the Trump administration's executive order barring U.S. entry to citizens of seven majority-Muslim countries, writing that "the order stands in unambiguous opposition to our country's long-cherished values and ideals—openness, freedom of ideas, opportunity for the many, not the few."
He and Kumar expressed similar sentiments today.
"In the weeks and months ahead, we will join with other universities to advocate vigorously on behalf of Dreamers at Johns Hopkins," they wrote.
"The decision on DACA will not deter us from working to ensure that all members of our community can participate fully in our mission—the pursuit of excellence in education, discovery and service to the world."