President Wallerstein’s 9/6 Message on DACA

September 6, 2017
Enduring Support for Baruch’s Dreamers
Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,
As you are no doubt aware, yesterday President Trump ordered an end to the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which has shielded from deportation more than 800,000 people, including the “Dreamers”—young undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children. The president called on Congress to act within six months on legislation to replace the policy before it fully expires on March 5, 2018.
As a result of the president’s decision yesterday, the government will no longer accept new applications from undocumented immigrants for the DACA program. However, current beneficiaries will not be immediately affected, as the Administration has indicated its intention to have an “orderly wind down” of the program. At the same time, some individuals covered under DACA will be able to renew their two-year period of legal status through Thursday, October 5. I therefore urge anyone at Baruch for whom this renewal option may be applicable to act immediately to take advantage of this additional period of legality.
Baruch’s campus is and always has been deeply enriched by the extraordinary diversity of our students, faculty, and staff. We not only seek but also welcome and greatly value the intellectual, cultural, and academic contributions of people from all national backgrounds, and we do not ask about an applicant’s immigration status when making our admissions decisions nor while a student is enrolled at the College.
We understand full well that this unwarranted, unnecessary, and heartless decision may cause many DACA beneficiaries, and their families, to suffer great anxiety, uncertainty, and emotional upset. I want to assure you that, as indicated in Chancellor Milliken’s statement yesterday, The City University of New York (CUNY) is committed to doing everything possible within our legal authority to protect DACA students, faculty, and staff. In this regard, we will not cooperate with or agree to a request by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to come on the Baruch campus, unless such a request is made in conjunction with a bona fide search warrant issued by the courts.
We will continue to monitor this situation closely, and we will provide additional updates as warranted. In the meantime, if you have any questions or concerns—and especially if you, or someone you know at Baruch, is suffering from psychological or emotional trauma based on yesterday’s announcement, please access the following resources:
?         The Baruch College Counseling Center offers students individual and group counseling.
?         The Employee Assistance Program, administered through Deer Oaks, is available to faculty and staff.
?         CUNY Citizenship Now is a strong resource for questions surrounding immigration status or services.
In addition, I hereby request that no one on the campus respond to any inquiry regarding the immigration status of a specific student, faculty, or staff member.  Rather, please direct all such questions to the College’s Office of the Executive Legal Counsel. 
Yesterday evening, I joined Mayor Bill de Blasio, Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito (MPA ’95), Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the Reverend Al Sharpton, and dozens of other leaders from the higher education, religious, not-for-profit, and business communities at a press conference on the steps of City Hall. We gathered to demonstrate our firm and full commitment to, and support for, Dreamers and all immigrants who collectively represent the heart and soul of the great melting pot that is New York City.
Since the founding of the Free Academy in 1847, on the site of what is now Baruch’s Lawrence and Eris Field Building at 17 Lexington Avenue, educating immigrants and the children of immigrants has been central to Baruch’s mission and to that of CUNY. The College remains fully committed to doing everything within its power to support and protect our students, faculty, and staff, regardless of their immigration status.
Mitchel B. Wallerstein
Baruch College
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