Gonzaga President Thayne McCulloh released an email following the announcement of the United States Supreme Court ruling about the Deferred Action of Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
The Supreme Court ruled against President Donald Trump’s administration, allowing for the protection of undocumented immigrants' children to continue in the United States. This means that new DACA applications must be accepted.
Through DACA, young undocumented individuals are deferred risk of deportation and receive permits to work legally in the U.S. Many undocumented students through the program are able to apply for college and attain a degree. However, undocumented students are unable to receive federal financial aid and face challenges of paying for college.
“Today’s decision, in my view, affirms our longstanding commitment to protect and support our undocumented students and employees,” McCulloh said in an email. “The status of the DACA program – which remains a temporary approach to addressing complex, long-term challenges – is not a theoretical or abstract issue for Gonzaga University; it is a local and personal matter, affecting students and individuals who are part of our own community.”
The commitment that GU has to diversity, students and faculty as stated in the mission statement were affirmed by McCulloh.
“For me, these words incur an obligation on the part of our university community to care for those among us who are vulnerable, and in need of support – and specifically includes our undocumented students and employees, here legally under the auspices of the DACA program,” McCulloh said.
GU will be working to support DACA students by working with the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, the Center for Global Engagement, the Division of Student Affairs, the Gonzaga Student Body Association and the School of Law and the Office of General Counsel.
McCulloh encourages students and the GU community to be engaged in immigration issues.
“It is my fervent hope that the Congress of the United States will once again take up these matters and develop comprehensive legislation which result in humane immigration policies,” McCulloh said.
McCulloh noted that over 200,000 DACA recipients are considered essential workers during the coronavirus pandemic and with so much uncertainty in the world right now, the ruling calms the anxiety of those who are affected by DACA.