College responds to pending DACA elimination

Anthony Ramón Pérez Soto and Ana López

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President Paula Carlson released a statement regarding President Trump’s move to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) on Sept. 5. The College also signed three letters by the American Council on Education addressed to Trump as well a held and informational meeting for students potentially affected by DACA’s removal.

In the statement, Carlson highlighted Luther’s commitment to its students.

“We are committed to being a global learning community that welcomes, supports and celebrates people of all faiths and backgrounds,” Carlson said.

The statement mentioned that Luther students protected under DACA will continue to have financial aid provided by the institution. The college will also look for resources to help students stay enrolled and complete their education.

As a part of the college’s reaction, Carlson joined efforts with over 500 colleges in write to Trump and other legislators to defend DACA recipients.

“We are working with national and state officials to pass legislation as soon as possible to permanently protect those individuals,” Carlson said.

“We are working with national and state officials to pass legislation as soon as possible to permanently protect those individuals,” Carlson said.
Luther College signed a letter by the American Council on Education addressed to President Trump on March 16. The letter urges Trump to allow the “Dreamers” to continue contributing to the United States. The letter states:

“These bright and talented young people are working, serving […] or studying at colleges and universities. Because they now have permits they are making contributions to our society and our economy.”
The letter closes with a request:

“On behalf of these college leaders, we urge you to continue your promise to support Dreamers and preserve DACA while seeking a permanent solution, and allow these productive and high-achieving individuals to continue to work, study and contribute to our great country.”

In order to inform Luther students who might be potentially affected by the removal of DACA, Immigration Attorney and Director of Immigration and Refugee Services for the Catholic Charities Yer L. Vang held an informative session on Sept. 14. Vang explained different procedures that DACA recipients must follow now that their legal status will be inevitably altered by Trump’s decision.

Vang commented on the role of higher education institutions in responding to this change in policy,

“I do not see it as a challenge, but rather as an opportunity for institutions of higher education who want to be leaders in talking about what is fair and right in promoting education to students regardless of their legal migratory status,” Vang said.

Vang finished the session by encouraging students to get involved.
“If you are a friend, an ally; this is a great opportunity to get involved. Use this momentum to really do some strong advocacy,” Vang said.
A Luther student who was protected by DACA and wishes to remain anonymous, shared their frustrations and fears after the notice of the change in policy,

“I fear that I will lose everything: my family and what I have built over the years, not being able to continue my education, and leaving everything behind to go to a place I am not familiar with or know anyone,” the student said. “We are here to improve our lives and those lives around us. We are just like you except without papers and that does not make us any less human. We are here to stay!”

In the statement, President Carlson encouraged students who may be affected by the policy change to contact Director of Diversity Center Wintlett Taylor-Browne for more information and resources.

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