NSHE Statement on DACA
The Nevada System of Higher Education reaffirms our strong commitment for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and our DACA students system-wide. We join our colleagues throughout the United States in urging Congress to find a permanent solution to maintain the residency status of DACA students.
NSHE is committed to the success of all of our more than 107,600 students. In keeping with the academic missions of our campuses, we will continue to support an open and inclusive campus environment at all eight NSHE institutions. All students, faculty, and staff should continue to feel welcome, supported, and free of fear and apprehension.
DACA students have grown up in Nevada communities and graduated from Nevada high schools. The DACA program has been instrumental in providing access to NSHE institutions; as these are students who have met our admissions requirements and are making positive economic, cultural, and scholarly impacts on our communities. Access to higher education changes lives for the better for all Nevadans.
While the fate of the DACA program is in the hands of Congress, NSHE leadership and its eight presidents are committed to partnering and advocacy with our Congressional delegation, business community and other elected officials. A web page for DACA students is being established to provide up-to-date information including resource and counseling services at each of our institutions (http://www.nevada.edu/daca). In the end, supporting student success and ensuring students feel welcome and safe within our campus environments is paramount for all Nevadans.
Adopted September 6, 2017
Chancellor Thom Reilly, Nevada System of Higher Education
President Kristen Averyt, Desert Research Institute
Officer in Charge Mark Ghan, Western Nevada College
President Joyce Helens, Great Basin College
President Karin Hilgersom, Truckee Meadows Community College
President Len Jessup, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
President Marc Johnson, University of Nevada, Reno
President Bart Patterson, Nevada State College
President Michael D. Richards, College of Southern Nevada
College of Southern Nevada
This morning’s decision from the U.S. Department of Justice directly impacts many CSN students, adding uncertainty to their young lives that requires our compassion as well as renewed advocacy on their behalf.
For the past five years, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program has benefited hundreds of thousands of students nationally, and has been a significant blessing to many CSN students. Our doors and arms are open to all who seek an education. Many DACA students have held leadership positions in student government while pursuing their educational goals. They are wonderful young people. CSN has welcomed them, and will continue to protect the opportunity for all students to attend CSN.
During the past year, I have met with our federal delegation, urging them to protect DACA recipients and to pass the Bridge Act, which would make the DACA program permanent. I will continue to strongly encourage our elected officials to work towards a permanent solution that will benefit our students.
CSN’s efforts on the DACA issue remain committed to a long-term solution.
Our Diversity Office is planning a forum with the UNLV Law School and other community partners for October 4, 2017 at the North Las Vegas campus from 4 to 6 p.m. This will be a great opportunity for you to ask questions and learn what these changes mean. Additional information will continue to be updated through our CSN All Access webpage at www.csn.edu/diversity.
I would also highlight the resources of our Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs, and our new Multicultural Center at the North Las Vegas Campus. The Center can provide excellent resources to help you learn more, get engaged, and celebrate each other.
You may also contact my office anytime. President’s Office, 651-5600; Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs, 651-4272. Thank you.
President Michael D. Richards
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Dear Campus Community:
The Trump administration announced today coming changes to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy. The administration announced it would no longer accept new applications for the DACA program, and will phase it out in six months unless Congress takes legislative action. Clearly, this announcement and its implementation extend far beyond UNLV and we are following it closely, as are campuses and communities across the country.
We continue to be strong supporters of DACA and of our DACA students. We recognize changes to DACA will have an adverse impact on some of our students and we will continue to communicate details as they become available. We are committed to being responsive and supportive of the emotional well-being of the campus community and encourage individuals to utilize services offered through the Office of Counseling and Psychological Services. Resources also are available through the Immigrant Legal Resource Center website.
We are proud of our students and the passion they have to pursue productive lives and careers—which is the very mission of higher education. Many are first-generation college students and trying to create a better path for their families and themselves.
We will continue to do everything in our power to provide for all of our students a safe, supportive environment conducive to their success while following the law. It was in this spirit that we joined more than 600 higher education institutions across the nation to advocate for continuation of the DACA program at the end of last year.
Even with today’s announcement, we will continue to champion the importance of education and the success of all our students. Citizenship is not a prerequisite for admission at UNLV, and our doors remain open to all students who seek education and the opportunities it provides.
As I have said before, inclusiveness is at the core of a different, daring, and diverse UNLV. Nothing will change that stance.
Len Jessup UNLV President
University of Nevada, Reno
9/1/2017 | University of Nevada, Reno statement regarding DACA
Since the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was started in 2012, we have witnessed the critical benefits of this program for our students, and the highly positive impacts on our institution and community. We are proud of all of our DACA students. We want to protect the opportunity for anyone who comes to our University to pursue their dreams through education. We will continue to embrace our mission and support the members of our diverse groups, who are a valued and critical part of our campus community. With reports indicating that DACA may be rescinded, we are affirming our stance that all students who are ready to pursue a higher education are welcome here at the University of Nevada, Reno.
We will continue to advocate for DACA’s continuation with our representatives in Washington, D.C. Earlier this week a number of our student-centered programs and divisions met to discuss what we can do now given this latest threat to DACA. The past several days have been very stressful for our DACA students and their families, as they have been dealing with a high level of uncertainty. The University of Nevada, Reno values our DACA students, and we are here to advocate for them and stand with them.
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In recent weeks, there has been much discussion, both on our campus and nationally, regarding the safety and security of immigrant students. A particular emphasis has been placed on the current and future status of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, as well as questions regarding the University’s position on sanctuary campus status. Several points are important. First, the University supports DACA, which was enacted by the administration of President Barack Obama and is considered law. Two, in my discussions with the campus, I’ve made it clear that the University will not be declared a sanctuary campus. The concept of sanctuary campus at a public institution does not have a foundation in law or policy. Further, the legal ramifications and definitions of such a designation, particularly given the uncertainty of immigration policy in our country, are still to be determined. Three, I re-stated the University’s commitment to DACA last week in person to the leaders of the Latinx Student Advisory Board, who staged a rally in front of Clark Administration. Several members of the group delivered a petition, which we officially received. We committed to study the petition, and we set a meeting to discuss its contents with the members. A meeting scheduled for December 14, in which we planned to share our response to the petition, was cancelled by the group. We will look to re-schedule after Winter Break.
Given these occurrences, I thought it might be helpful to provide some background regarding DACA, and the University’s role in the program since it became law in 2012.
In June 2012, the Secretary of Homeland Security announced that certain people who came to the United States as children and who meet several guidelines may request consideration of deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal. They are also eligible for work authorization. According to U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services, deferred action is “a use of prosecutorial discretion to defer removal action against an individual for a certain period of time.” Deferred action does not provide lawful status. However, these individuals have chosen to voluntarily come forward to participate under the protections of DACA. It is estimated that since DACA’s enactment in 2012, hundreds of thousands of college-age students have requested consideration of this deferred action. They have come to be called “Dreamers,” which speaks to these students’ aspiration for a better life through the benefits of education. It is important to note that the DACA program is not the same as amnesty. Each individual case is assessed on its own merits to ensure that an applicant meets specific criteria and poses no security threat. Because of DACA, these students are free to study and work on our college campuses. Since 2012, the University, like the vast majority of colleges and universities throughout the country, has complied with DACA. In recent weeks I joined more than 500 university and college presidents nationwide in proclaiming the value and importance of DACA and requesting that the program be continued. I’ve also proclaimed my support for the “Bridge Act” legislation, a bipartisan effort proposed at the federal level by Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) which would allow hundreds of thousands of young immigrants who have gotten deportation reprieves and work permits under the Obama administration to keep those benefits for three more years if they are revoked.
Why has the University complied with DACA, and why do we feel it is still important? Our University has as one of its core missions the success of all its students. We remain committed to creating an environment for student success in which all admitted students can successfully matriculate and graduate. In the past several days, our University has engaged in active dialogue regarding DACA. In late November I met with faculty from our Gender, Race and Identity program, as well as with faculty and staff who serve our students. On December 7, I met with leaders of our student body, to speak to their concerns and reiterate the University’s support of DACA students.
The University will continue to work with students, faculty, staff and community members to protect the opportunity for anyone who comes to our University to improve themselves through education. The University will continue to obey the laws of our federal government and the guidelines that have been set through DACA. All students who are academically qualified are welcome at our University.
I wish to express my thanks to the students I have met with, who have engaged our campus and this administration in productive, proactive and positive dialogue. More meetings are scheduled with faculty, students and staff regarding this issue in the weeks to come.
Our diversity is one of our greatest assets and our commitment to diversity is explicitly embedded in the University’s mission statement: “Inspired by its land-grant foundation, the University of Nevada, Reno provides outstanding learning, discovery and engagement programs that serve the economic, social, environmental and cultural needs of the citizens of Nevada, the nation, and the world. The University recognizes and embraces the critical importance of diversity in preparing students for global citizenship and is committed to a culture of excellence, inclusion and accessibility.” (Note: Previous emphasis is mine.)
We will continue to embrace our mission and support the members of our diverse groups, who are, and will continue to be, a valued and critical part of our campus community. It is important that we continue to ensure that all members of our student body can live, work and study safely on this campus.
Finally, below is text of my statement regarding DACA, which was released to all media on December 6, 2016.
President Marc Johnson
“Because of our diverse campus, we understand this issue to be of concern for many. We feel very strongly that our diversity is one of our greatest assets; it not only makes our institution whole; it allows us to realize our fullest potential as human beings.”
“The core mission of higher education is the advancement of knowledge, people and society. We are committed to upholding free inquiry and education, and to providing the opportunity for all our students to pursue their learning and life goals.”
“Since the advent of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in 2012, we have seen the critical benefits of this program for our students, and the highly positive impacts on our institution and community.”
“We want to protect the opportunity for anyone who comes to our University to improve ourselves through education; therefore, I, along with more than 400 college and university presidents have signed a statement calling for the continuation and expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.”
“We don’t know what changes will occur with the new presidential administration, but all students who are academically qualified, are welcome here at the University of Nevada, Reno.”
– Marc Johnson, President, University of Nevada, Reno