President Vincent Price issued a statement Wednesday in response to President Donald Trump’s decision to end a program that protects young undocumented immigrants from deportation.
Created by President Barack Obama, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program allows some undocumented immigrants who entered the country as minors to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation and eligibility for a work permit. On Tuesday, Trump said that DACA was unconstitutional and called on Congress to enact legislation that would replace the program, which is now set to expire in six months.
“In light of the decision to end DACA, Duke University restates its firm commitment to protecting the right of all students to learn and discover here, regardless of their background or immigration status,” Price said. “These talented young men and women clearly deserve the opportunity to be members of the Duke community, which is enriched and strengthened by their contributions.”
Price also said that the University provides resources to undocumented students and employees. Last year, the University started providing financial aid to undocumented students whether they were registered for DACA or not, said Michael Schoenfeld, vice president for public affairs and government. He added that the University has set up for a law firm to provide pro bono legal services to undocumented students.
“It is short-sighted, cruel and potentially takes away opportunities both for the country in general and for individuals who have worked hard to contribute to the common good,” Schoenfeld said. “It's deeply saddening.”