Statement on Trump Administration's Decision to End DACA
Sept. 5, 2017
Dear Whitworth Community,
The Trump administration announced today that it is rescinding President Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) executive order. That order, among other things, granted immigration-enforcement officials prosecutorial discretion to forego taking action against undocumented students studying at U.S. institutions of higher learning, and it granted such students worker permits.
I am on record voicing my strong opposition to this policy change, as it undercuts and ignores, in my opinion, the real stories of human beings across the country who were brought into the U.S. as undocumented children, and for whom the U.S. is the only home they've ever known. To their credit, these young people have become integrally woven into our communities and institutions, and they have blessed the same with their talents and dedication. As such, Whitworth has invited undocumented students to be a part of our learning community for many years, and Whitworth is a stronger, more culturally rich community as a result.
I have stated before that my highest and most sacred responsibility as Whitworth's president is to ensure the health, welfare and safety of our current students. That extends to all students, especially those who find themselves and their families affected by this decision. Whitworth must walk a narrow ridge between being, at once, an institution that respects and adheres to the laws and regulations of this country, and a community that stands in faithful solidarity with the marginalized in our midst. That is my commitment.
I will continue to lobby lawmakers vigorously to find permanent legislative remedies to address this complex problem, and in doing so, I will stress that these remedies must reflect justice and compassion. As I do that, Whitworth will continue to live into the promises I made last year. These include an assurance that Whitworth will not voluntarily cooperate with immigration officials or agencies, nor will it voluntarily share information regarding the details of Whitworth's undocumented students with any law-enforcement agency, unless compelled by an official court order, warrant or subpoena. Additionally, university officials will continue to meet with undocumented students to provide any resource at our disposal to help them navigate this uncertain time and to ensure they are able to study, work and thrive at Whitworth. To that end, Whitworth has established a webpage with resources for undocumented students. That page will be continually updated with additional information and resources that we hope are helpful.
No matter where you personally stand on larger immigration policies, I hope you will join me in expressing our love and concern for these students and their families. They are us, and we are Whitworth. Please pray for them, the broader Whitworth community, and our nation's leaders. May Christ's peace and justice reign.
Beck A. Taylor | President