Dear Campus Community,
I am pleased to inform you that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled today that the White House may not carry out its plan to shut down the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which was established in 2012 to provide work authorization and protection against deportation for people who were brought to the United States as children, including some of our own students and staff.
I have long advocated for permanent protection via a legislative solution for Dreamers — young and high-achieving individuals who were brought to the U.S. as children through no choice of their own. For example, last fall, 600 university presidents and I signed a letter urging Congress to pass bipartisan legislation to provide permanent protection for Dreamers. More than 800 business and industry leaders also sent a letter to Congress. In addition, my recent commentary in MONEY Magazine explains that the recently approved CARES Act (i.e. emergency aid) purposefully barred DACA or Dreamer students from much-needed financial support during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The California State University (CSU) system intentionally refrains from collecting or tracking specific individuals because a student’s DACA status has no bearing on enrollment status. Throughout the CSU system, we estimate nearly 10,000 DACA students spread across the 23 campuses, including many who have made tremendous contributions to our communities. A number of Dreamers have been recognized for the highest honors of academic distinction in the CSU system, including here at Fresno State.
Fresno State’s approximately 600 DACA students represent the potential offered by our country and are a key part of California and our nation’s future. Academically, these students have earned their place within the California State University. They are studying to be nurses, teachers and engineers, to provide for their communities and fill the high demand for an educated workforce, including much-needed health care professionals, in California.
All of our students, regardless of citizen status, deserve to receive high-quality education that benefits them, their families and the Central Valley. Fresno State is proud to continue providing services and support to our undocumented students.
Members of the CSU community who are impacted by the decision should consult with legal counsel as soon as possible, if they have specific concerns. Direct immigration legal services are available free of charge to CSU students and employees due to a collaboration with the California Department of Social Services. Attorneys and paralegals are available to assist with renewals and general assistance filling out forms such as family-based petitions. CSU legal service providers are currently meeting with students and employees virtually. Visit this page for more information.
I encourage our DACA and other Dreamer students and their “UndocuAllies” to learn about resources and programs available through the Dream Success Center.
Fresno State will continue to keep the campus community informed about pertinent developments on this important topic. We are focused on the success of all of our students to further position the Central Valley and California economies to grow and thrive.
Finally, our mission is to boldly educate and empower students for success. That is why I stand with Dreamers at Fresno State today and every day.
President Joseph I. Castro
CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White statement: https://www2.calstate.edu/csu-system/news/Pages/CSU-Chancellor-Timothy-P.-White’s-Statement-on-Supreme-Court-DACA-Ruling.aspx