UNC Chancellor Carol Folt and other university leadership are “deeply disappointed and saddened” by the decision from President Donald Trump to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
United States Attorney General announced that decision from the Trump administration on Tuesday. UNC administrators responded in a letter to the campus community on Wednesday.
The program created by former President Barack Obama has given nearly 800,000 young immigrants a reprieve from deportation and the ability to work legally in the country.
Folt wrote that the change “is contrary to our own and Carolina’s heartfelt commitment to all members of our community.”
The chancellor also acknowledged that the decision “opens questions and concerns for students, their families, friends and others.”
Folt added that she remained hopeful work would be done in Congress to protect DACA enrollees. She wrote “that is where our energy to support Dreamers should be directed.”
UNC remains “fully committed to welcoming and supporting students enrolled in this program,” according to the correspondence.
“We support and encourage Congress to enact legislation to provide undocumented students with security to complete their studies now, and an eventual path for citizenship.”
Folt attempted to calm some concerns about whether federal officials would be using or have access to personal information submitted voluntarily by DACA enrollees.
“A student’s immigration status is protected under the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA),” Folt wrote. “Moreover, our UNC police department does not gather information about citizenship or immigration status, and only makes inquiries about individuals who are the subject of a felony criminal investigation.”
Wednesday’s letter to the campus was signed by Folt, outgoing Provost Jim Dean, Associate Vice Chancellor and Chief Diversity Officer Rumay Alexander and Executive Vice Provost and Chief International Officer Ronald Strauss.
The letter also pointed students with any questions to various resources around the campus.
Folt also signed onto letters to Congress from the Association of American Universities and the Association of Public & Land-Grant Universities supporting legislation to protect undocumented students.