Latina/o Studies Program, University of Michigan
September 5, 2017
On September 5 the Trump administration announced the end of DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program established by the Obama administration in 2012. This decision will negatively impact over 800,000 young people and their families, and breaks a promise that we made to a generation of immigrant youth who sought equal access to educational and professional opportunities. We, the faculty, students and staff affiliated with the Latina/o Studies Program, stand with undocumented students at the University of Michigan and universities and colleges nationwide as they work to achieve everything their dreams allow.
The core mission of the UM Latina/o Studies Program is the advancement of knowledge about Latina/o histories, cultures, and communities. Our program is committed to fostering opportunities for all students, including undocumented students, to pursue their intellectual, professional and personal goals. We have witnessed on a day to day basis the hard work, intellectual promise, and social commitment that undocumented students bring to their work at the University of Michigan. We have worked with them as they develop innovative research agendas, we have marvelled at their organizing skills—their ability to create community in an environment that isn’t always welcoming—and we have counseled them when the barriers to their success seem insurmountable.
We believe that undocumented students bring an invaluable perspective to our research, our classroom environments, and the social fabric of our university. Their presence enriches our community in countless ways and deepens its commitment to the values of public education for all. DACA students are not just valued members of our university community, they are vital to our future as nation. They are our future public servants, teachers, doctors, lawyers, neighbors and friends. They represent the best things about our nation: openness, opportunity, and promise, and they deserve to be included as full members of our institutions and communities.
We applaud the recent statement from President Schlissel in support of DACA and access to education for undocumented youth, and we urge the University to continue to boldly advance these beliefs. Our current and future students, as well as the many other people with families impacted by these policy shifts, should be assured that the faculty and staff at the Latina/o Program will continue current efforts and identify further ways in which they can better support our community.
Latina/o Studies Program Advisory Board
Maria Cotera, Chair
Alexandra Minna Stern
Lorraine M. Gutierrez
Yeidy M. Rivero