From President Denise Trauth to Students, Faculty, and Staff in TXST Connections
October 25, 2019
On November 12, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments about the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, case. The Supreme Court will ultimately rule on the legality of the termination of the Presidential Executive Order that protected DACA recipients from deportation, permitted them to renew DACA applications, and allowed them to seek work permits. While we do not expect a Supreme Court decision to be rendered for several months, Texas State University has a tremendous opportunity to support DACA recipients, or “Dreamers,” in our university community.
Young people with DACA status are working, serving in the military, and studying at universities across the nation, including here at Texas State. They contribute greatly to the workforce, their communities, and to the fabric of our university community. For our students with DACA status, the possibility of protections being revoked threatens their futures in the U.S. According to a recent national survey shared by the American Council on Education, 93 percent of college students who are Dreamers reported that they fear that being deported to their country of birth would leave them without sufficient housing, healthcare, food, or security. On average, the Dreamers surveyed were six years old when they arrived in the U.S., and nearly 70 percent reported they currently have no family members living in the country where they were born.
As we explore truth as this year’s Common Experience theme, we want to help our community learn and explore the truth related to DACA, the Supreme Court Case, and the Presidential Executive Order.
In September, I established a taskforce to identify and document current resources and support services for students; develop a comprehensive list of initiatives to strengthen our immigration resources and student services; recommend ways we can improve our culture of inclusion; and engage the university community in conversations about immigration issues. The task force, led by Dr. Jaime Chahin, Dean of the College of Applied Arts, has been working on these issues for the past several weeks, and I’m incredibly grateful for their dedication and service. I anticipate the task force’s recommendations will be presented to the President’s Cabinet in late October or early November.
In the meantime, the task force has scheduled a panel conversation, open to all students, faculty, and staff, to discuss information related to DACA. The panel will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on November 5, 2019 in Flowers Hall, Room 230 on the San Marcos Campus. Dr. Scott Bowman, (special assistant to the provost for inclusion and diversity) will moderate, and panel speakers will include Angelica Coronado (attorney for students); Dr. Sarah Coleman (assistant professor in the Department of History); Chief Laurie Clouse (University Police Department); Michelle Sotolongo (Honors College student development specialist); Dr. Christopher Murr (director of Financial Aid and Scholarships); and student representative, Cesar Santos.
It is an honor to serve this great university. We as a community have the responsibility to address issues that impact our students, faculty, and staff, and to serve and support every member of the Bobcat family, regardless of their nationality or country of origin.