With pledges of support for students who would be affected by President Donald Trump’s decision to scrap the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, leaders of Rhode Island colleges are protesting what they depict as a blow against educational opportunity and diversity.
In a joint letter to the Brown University community, that school’s president, provost and vice president for campus life and student services criticized the president’s decision in strong terms, describing it as “shortsighted and in direct and flagrant conflict with this nation’s commitment to education and … the bold aspirations of our talented youth.”
Brown President Christina Paxson, Provost Richard M. Locke, and campus life Vice President Eric Estes pledged to “defend our DACA and undocumented students.” These young people, they declared, “have contributed to the richness of their communities by working, serving their country and attending colleges and universities like Brown.”
The Brown officials underscored their support for the students: “We are asserting firmly and in absolute terms again that Brown does not share information with law enforcement regarding the immigration status of undocumented or DACA status students, and we will not without a subpoena. Brown’s Department of Public Safety does not inquire about or act on information related to immigration status, and does not partner with federal or state agencies to do so. All faculty, students and staff should direct any requests from law enforcement for information about the University or a member of our community to Brown’s Office of General Counsel.”
In a communication to his students, faculty and staff, University of Rhode Island President David M. Dooley said that the school “supports the benefits of the DACA program and is deeply disappointed” by the president’s decision. URI, he said, backs “our congressional leadership’s efforts to codify DACA protections into law.”