EMU response to the rescission of DACA

Dr. Susan Schultz Huxman, president of Eastern Mennonite University, released the following statement to the campus community today [Sept. 6].

Dear EMU community,

Like you, I am saddened and troubled by the White House decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

This program that allows children of undocumented immigrants to live, work and study in the U.S. without fear of deportation has allowed nearly 800,000 “dreamers,” (12,000 in the Commonwealth of Virginia) to contribute positively to our country and the communities in which they live. For many, this is the only country they know.

As followers of Jesus, we are committed to walk with our DACA students. They are beloved members of the EMU family.

As a community of learners, “dreamers” have helped us become better reflective thinkers who are culturally aware and globally engaged. We are particularly proud of the nationally recognized work of Isabel Castillo, a social work undergraduate and master’s in conflict transformation alumnus who has led significant efforts to support DACA.

As peacebuilders, we are committed to work locally, globally, and nationally in the next six months to find workable solutions that bring out “the better angels of ourselves.” As members of both parties on Capitol Hill have signaled: “These students have done nothing wrong.”

The following resources are available on campus for our DACA students:

Designated scholarships for undocumented students are available at EMU. People who wish to contribute may send a check to “Bridges to Education Scholarship Fund,” Attn: EMU Development Office.

Additional insight about our commitment to safety and justice for international and immigrant students can be found in the Jan 30, 2017 statement issued by Provost Fred Kniss and myself following the executive order that banned immigration from specific countries.

We will continue to be a community that stands with our DACA students.

Discussion on “EMU response to the rescission of DACA

  1. God bless us. Congress, do your job.

    When implemented by an election year executive order, then President Barack Obama stated this was a temporary conciliation. “This is not amnesty. This is not immunity. This is not a path to citizenship. It’s not a permanent fix. This is a temporary stopgap measure.”

    At the time, Obama was criticized by Hispanic-American leaders for an INCREASE in deportations of illegal aliens during each of the first four years of his presidency. In 2012 alone, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement removed 409,849 illegal immigrants, an average of 34,000 per month, the largest number in the agency’s history. For reason of comparison, the current rate sits at approximately 16,000 per month.

    Current law, even under the temporary executive order, does not provide any legal status for the people currently listed as recipients of DACA. DACA recipients, even by Obama’s temporary measure, are currently unlawfully present in the U.S. with their removal “deferred” during the temporary measure.

    Only Congress has the authority necessary to amend current immigration laws. That’s what’s being ignored here. Constitutionally, Congress once again needs to do their jobs.

    As followers of Jesus, we are committed to walk with our DACA friends, students, families. As followers of Jesus in the US, we are to recognize the rule of law. Change the laws. Congress, do your job.

  2. President Huxman and EMU;
    I wish to congratulate and affirm your response regarding DACA rescission. I do not understand our politicians’ stance on this issue and wish to voice my objection with you and would also urge all to write, phone or otherwise contact Rep Goodlatte’s office to please correct this bad decision by the government.

    I would like us as a community of faith to do what was done when the local Kurds were being “tested,” have a full page ad in the DNR to show our support and opinion on the matter. Mr. Goodlatte needs to hear from I believe the majority of his constituents especially the businesses, educational institutions and others who are greatly benefited by our immigrant population.

    Luke M Drescher

  3. Dr. Huxman,
    You lost me in your second paragraph when you referred to the DACA students as being the children of “undocumented immigrants”. It saddens me to see that EMU has become so politically correct that you apparently cannot refer to them as illegal aliens, which is what I understand they are. This is not meant to be a reflection on the DACA students as their parents are the ones who made the choice to not follow US immigration laws, which puts their children in a tough spot, through no fault of their own.

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