College News

Blank signs statement calling for protection of undocumented students

UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank signed a letter Monday sharing her support for the continuation of the immigration policy Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which provides protection for undocumented students.

Image By: Emily Buck

UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank added her name to a statement released Monday that calls for U.S. officials to uphold and expand the 2012 immigration policy Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which protects eligible undocumented youth from deportation.

The statement urges government leaders to consider the fate of undocumented students following the election of Donald Trump, who has been vocal about deporting anyone who is found to be in the country illegally. Students on campus have been openly critical of those proposals, and thousands participated in a protest march to the Capitol Nov. 10 where they voiced support for undocumented students.

More than 250 college and university presidents from across the country have already signed the statement.

“DACA beneficiaries on our campuses have been exemplary student scholars and student leaders, working across campus and in the community,” the statement says. “With DACA, our students and alumni have been able to pursue opportunities in business, education, high tech, and the non-profit sector; they have gone to medical school, law school, and graduate schools in numerous disciplines.”

Each campus leader’s signature indicates a willingness to meet with government officials to present the case for DACA’s continuation.

Former UW-Madison Chancellor Biddy Martin, who now serves as president of Amherst College in Massachusetts, also signed the statement.

Blank tweeted her commitment to protecting DACA students Monday afternoon, an act of solidarity that many on campus have been looking for since Trump’s victory.

More than 4,000 students, faculty and alumni signed a letter sent to Blank and other school leaders Nov. 12 requesting that the university declare itself a sanctuary campus, which would ensure that undocumented students and their families would be protected from deportation.

At the last meeting of UW-Madison’s University Committee, Blank said she did not have the authority to declare the school a sanctuary campus.

Following Blank’s signature on the Monday statement, Gonzaléz said he and other concerned parties will likely meet with the chancellor early next week to discuss additional steps for protecting DACA and undocumented students at UW-Madison.

“We’re heartened to see that Chancellor Blank has signed on to this letter calling on U.S. leaders to uphold DACA,” he said.

Monday’s statement will remain open for additional signatures through Nov. 22.

“America needs talent—and these students, who have been raised and educated in the United States, are already part of our national community,” the statement says. “They represent what is best about America, and as scholars and leaders they are essential to the future.”

UPDATE 11/23/16 3:51 p.m.: An updated count of college and university leaders who signed the statement as of Nov. 22 has been added. 

Comments powered by Disqus

Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Cardinal.