President Sullivan assures enrollment for DACA students

President Sullivan assures enrollment for DACA students

Chloe Chaobal

UVM sent emails to assure students that the University will stand with them, even if there are national changes to immigration policy.

Last month, President Tom Sullivan sent an email to the UVM community addressing concerns about a program started by President Obama’s administration that was implemented through the Department of Homeland Security.

“At the time [Sullivan’s first email] went out, there seemed to be a lot of conversation both nationally and locally about these issues. There were questions in people’s minds,” University communications director Enrique Corredera stated in an email.

Since June 2012, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals has allowed undocumented minors stay in the U.S., possibly affecting thousands of immigrants throughout the country, according to a June 15, 2012 New York Times article.

Under DACA, undocumented immigrants who meet certain criteria will temporarily be permitted to stay in the U.S. without fear of deportation. In particular, the policy helps immigrants who come to the U.S. before the age of 16, according to the article.

“Students at UVM should care because DACA is more prevalent than we realize,” first-year Elise Albertin said. “Many of our friends could be sons and daughters of undocumented immigrants.”

DACA is one of the policies President-elect Donald Trump said he will eliminate under his administration. During a hearing regarding his attorney general nomination, Sen. Jeff Sessions [R-Al.] said he believed ending DACA would be constitutional.

“[I] would have no objection to a decision to abandon that order,” he said.

Sullivan responded to further questions with a second email Dec. 9,  where he reaffirmed UVM’s “Common Ground.”

“As members of our University community,” Sullivan stated, “we will work proactively together, in solidarity, to ensure the safety, wellbeing, and educational success of all of our students at UVM.”

UVM has pledged to support students who fall under DACA within its legal limits.

The University is not required by any law to track undocumented students, and they do not do so, Corredera stated.

Additionally, UVM admits students without consideration of their documentation status.
Under FERPA, a federal law protecting the rights of students, the University cannot reveal private information about a student, such as their documentation status, without due process of the law, Corredera stated.President