Dear Scripps Students, Faculty, and Staff,
As many of you know, today the President of the United States repealed the Presidential directive that established the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. This decision has dire implications for thousands of students at colleges and universities throughout this nation who have sacrificed, persevered, and excelled to enhance the intellectual community on our campuses and to create a better future for themselves and their families. On our own campus, there are individuals for whom this action will result in fear and worry about their own safety as well as that of families and friends.
At a time when our nation seems more divided every day, it bears repeating that here at Scripps College, we value all members of our community. I am grateful that we have students, faculty members, and staff from so many different backgrounds, including those whose immigration status may make them vulnerable. This kind of diversity of experience and perspective enriches all of our lives here and ensures that we will continue to be a place of excellence, impact, and innovation.
In January, the Board of Trustees declared Scripps College a sanctuary center of higher education because we aim for our campus to be a sanctuary where students, faculty, and staff are free from fears of deportation or persecution. In these times of social and political change, I cannot guarantee that there will be no fears.Yet, I remind the community, and especially those who are most impacted by the decision out of Washington today, of the ways Scripps will support the members of our community who are most vulnerable to changes in immigration laws.
We have promised that we will not provide private information about any of our students or employees to Immigration and Customs Enforcement or any other government agency unless legally required to do so. This is consistent with our general practices regarding privacy. We also vowed to report requests or subpoenas for private information by federal or state agencies to affected students or employees unless specifically prohibited by applicable law.
Further, we have engaged members of the Scripps community who specialize in immigration law to provide legal advice to our students pro bono, and we have established a fund supported by alumnae and other friends of the college to help defray costs associated with legal aid regarding immigration for our students. Students seeking to access these services should contact their Dean of Student’s Office or the Primary Contact Dean. Employees have access to legal services through the Employee Assistance Program administered by Human Resources. Please visit the IDEA website for a list of legal resources for undocumented and DACA students.
In addition to supporting members of our own community, Scripps College is a member of the chorus of colleges and universities calling for legislative action to protect DACA students’ access to educational and employment opportunities. As a community, let’s remember that the decision to end the DACA program has a direct impact on some our fellow students, faculty, and staff. Please be mindful and respectful of the implications of this decision on our classmates and colleagues, even if they do not disclose these concerns.