Dear Duke Community,
We, Duke students are citizens, residents, domestic, international, documented, undocumented, and DACAmented. We encompass a vast amount of nationalities, ethnicities, races, and cultures.
We are Duke.
We are American.
Today, President Trump has made a decision that affects Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients and/or their families. Yet before we delve into how President Trump’s decision affects these individuals and those of us that are not DACA beneficiaries, it is important to acknowledge the plight that undocumented youth have endured for years.
These individuals have been in the United States long before Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals was issued. DACA exists because of those DREAMERS who were actively engaging all over the country, pushing congress to pass the dream act, and that their resiliency and efforts are what led president Obama to pass DACA. As students and citizens of the American society we live in, DACA and undocumented youth are and have been the same as any other youth. What separated them was their inability to obtain driver’s licenses, a work permit to apply to certain scholarships, or to travel among other aspects that are integral to any person’s interaction with society. Today, there are 800,000 individuals, 27,000 of them in North Carolina, that trusted the government with fingerprints, addresses, and other personal information in exchange for protection under DACA.
As Duke students, we have a responsibility to uphold an environment that is conducive to an experience of learning, engagement, and enrichment. We have had a history of standing as an ally to undocumented students, pushing for undocumented students to be considered as domestic students, and organizing a petition and rally to make Duke a sanctuary campus in Fall of 2016. Here on our campus, issues of immigration affect students from all over the world, whether it is students who were born outside the United States and have been living here undocumented since their early childhood, or it is international students who come to find themselves with little or no option to stay in this country after their education is complete and exercise their many talents and skills in the workforce.
As a community that is disproportionately affected by President Trump’s anti-immigration rhetoric and actions, now more than ever, we need to stand together and be resilient.
For those impacted by the decision that was made today, we want you to know that you are not alone. You belong here. You are part of the Duke community, and we are committed to making sure that Duke continues to be a university where you feel welcomed.
We are here to stay, and we will persevere.
Norma de Jesus