Dear ASU Community:
Two days ago, I made clear ASU’s intention to honor its constitutionally mandated mission to provide a quality education to Arizona’s college bound students – all of them.
I had previously reaffirmed ASU’s “historic commitment to Dreamers generally and to DACA students in particular.” I stand by that commitment, including my promise that “If DACA is eliminated, we will rise to the challenge,” just as we did before DACA existed by finding resources for these students from private sources.
In my November statement, I provided the broad outlines of our action plan. Here are some specific steps we are taking in response to today’s announcement:
1. We will work with the Arizona Congressional Delegation and other members of Congress to enact the DREAM Act or other appropriate federal legislation to provide an alternative to DACA by the administration’s March 5, 2018, deadline. I have asked Matt Salmon, ASU’s Vice President for Government Affairs, to lead this effort. I am hopeful that this time we will succeed in finding what I have long considered a pathway to an educated future for the thousands of young people who have done nothing wrong.
2. We will engage the members of the Arizona business community and the various Arizona Chambers of Commerce who have supported these efforts in the past to assist with our federal policy work. Matt Salmon and his team will also coordinate this work.
3. We will facilitate legal advice for and to our students. I have asked Sr. Vice President and General Counsel, José Cárdenas, and the dean of the Sandra Day O’Connor School of Law, Doug Sylvester, to coordinate this effort.
4. Past experience has taught us that despite overwhelming public support for the DREAM Act, passage is not a certainty. To cover that eventuality, we will begin work now with individual, corporate, and foundation donors to help provide scholarships and other resources to our students. I've asked Gretchen Buhlig, president of the ASU Foundation, and ASU Sr. Vice President Christine Wilkinson, to lead this effort.
5. Our contingency planning will include discussions with Mexican and other international universities to identify and develop higher education programs that may be of assistance to our students. Executive Vice President and University Provost Mark Searle and General Counsel José Cárdenas will lead this effort.
All of these steps are in addition to those we initiated last November and earlier this year, and that we have enhanced since then. For example, in November we began providing counseling services to our DACA students, and over the course of the last several months we have touched base with every one of our DACA students to reaffirm our support for the completion of their college education.
And earlier this year we established a web page for DACA students and for international staff and faculty, and we will continue to use it to provide additional and up-to-date information. We have already added links to the three DHS documents concerning the administration’s decision to rescind DACA: A press release, a memorandum and an FAQ about the decision. All three can be found on ASU’s immigration and travel resources page.
I previously said we would talk to our DACA scholarship partner, TheDream.US, about ways in which they can continue to support the recipients of their scholarship funds. Those discussions have been ongoing, including as recently as last week when they advised their ASU scholars that TheDream.US is “exploring options that will enable us to continue to support your college education,” should DACA end. They have also said that, if need be, they will make scholarships available for ASU’s online program.
As I said on Sunday, rest assured that we will, “within the law, do everything we possibly can do to help young people move their lives forward – regardless of the circumstances that brought them to this country.”