Dear Hofstra community:
In light of the White House’s decision this week to repeal the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) in six months, I want to reaffirm Hofstra’s commitment to diversity, and to protecting the rights and dignity of every member of the campus community.
This is not the first time over the past year that I, along with hundreds of college and university presidents across the nation, have felt compelled to reiterate our commitment to the core values on which our institutions – and our country – are built: tolerance, respect, inclusiveness and opportunity.
In November, I joined more than 600 college and university presidents in a public statement supporting the DACA program, as a “moral imperative and a national necessity”.
As I said in a January letter to the Hofstra community, a university must be a place where learning and scholarship take place freely, and where all students, including those protected by DACA, can live, work and study without fear of harassment or intimidation. We do not ask students if they are undocumented and we do not share student information with any governmental agency except required by law. Our Public Safety officers are here for the protection and safety of our community. While we work collaboratively with local police and government agencies, our Department of Public Safety is guided by the policies and procedures of the University, and not by any outside law enforcement entity unless required by law.
Beyond that, we have a long history of civic engagement programs in which our students and faculty work with the surrounding community. I am especially proud of our law school clinics that represent Long Island’s immigrants, including our new Deportation Defense Clinic, which launched this summer. This clinic will concentrate in particular on DACA recipients.
Leaders across the spectrum – from business, religious, education, civic and non-profit organizations – have reacted swiftly and forcefully to decry the White House decision to rescind the DACA program. The people who have benefited from this program improve our communities and contribute to our economies. Their talents and drive embody the American spirit.
As an educational institution, our mission is simple and clear: to provide a nurturing, safe environment that promotes the free exchange of ideas. Whatever happens to the DACA program, I want to reassure you that Hofstra will remain a welcoming place for all individuals.
For students, faculty or other members of the campus community who have questions or concerns about the DACA program, the following resources are available:
- Office of International Student Affairs, which offers comprehensive immigration support for international students at 516-463-6796 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Student Health and Counseling Center, for counseling support at 516-463-6745
- Office of Student Advocacy & Prevention Awareness, for any student in need of support at 516-463-6555
- Law School Clinics, including the Deportation Defense Clinic and the Asylum Clinic: 516-463-5934 or email@example.com
- Office of Human Resources at 516-463-6859