Trump begins DACA termination; Kaler responds

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals will be rescinded over a 6-month period; Kaler pledges support for those affected.

President Eric Kaler delivers his State of the University address at Coffman Union Theater on Thursday, March 7, 2016.

Maddy Fox

President Eric Kaler delivers his State of the University address at Coffman Union Theater on Thursday, March 7, 2016.

Kevin Beckman

President Donald Trump officially announced Tuesday the Department of Homeland Security will end the federal program Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. 

In a statement released Tuesday morning, Trump said phasing out DACA will be a gradual six-month process, not an abrupt cutoff. 

University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler said he was disappointed with the decision and vowed to support all University students, regardless of documentation status in a statement emailed to faculty, staff and students Tuesday morning.

“Our students who enrolled in DACA are valued members of our University community,” Kaler’s statement said. “Many DACA students have called Minnesota home for most of their lives. As a system, we will do everything possible under law to support them in the face of today’s decision.”

New applications for work permits will not be accepted, but existing work permits will be honored until their expiration date, up to two full years from Tuesday, Trump’s statement said.

Additionally, permits won’t start to expire for another six months, and will remain active for up to 24 months, the statement continued. 

Trump called for Congress to act and devise a new solution for undocumented residents. 

The Minnesota Dream Act, which lets undocumented students apply for state financial aid, is still official policy at the University, Kaler’s statement said.

Former President Barack Obama enacted the policy in June 2012. The order gives work permits, social security numbers and federal benefits to approximately 800,000 undocumented immigrants between the ages of 15 and 36.