SMC Statement re: DACA

Dear Saint Mary's Community Members, 

In the wake of the Administration’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, I would like to remind members of our community about Saint Mary’s commitment to protecting the rights of all students on this campus. The DACA initiative allowed approximately 800,000 immigrants, who were brought to the United States as undocumented children, to obtain temporary relief from deportation. Saint Mary’s stands in solidarity with the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, and hundreds of higher education leaders who oppose the decision to terminate DACA. 

The College will continue to monitor this fluid and complex situation, which includes conferring with our elected officials and legal counsel about the constitutional protections institutions of higher education, and other organizations, have in their support of undocumented students. Next week, I will travel to Washington, D.C., and I plan to meet with our Congressman Mark DeSaulnier to discuss how we can work together to further protect our undocumented students. 

We will continue to uphold the privacy regulations that protect student information from disclosure, as outlined in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). We will provide a session with expert legal counsel for students, faculty, and staff about recent developments concerning DACA and immigration rights (date and time to be announced shortly). I encourage any student who needs support as a result of this latest development to take advantage of the various resources on our campus, including the Christian Brothers, the College's Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), Intercultural Center, Mission and Ministry Center, and Women’s Resource Center. 

Despite whatever challenges may confront us, we must remain ever committed to our Lasallian Catholic principles of inclusive community and respect for all persons. We must do everything we can to ensure Saint Mary’s maintains a safe and welcoming campus for each and every one of our community members. 

Sincerely, 

James Donahue
President