Letter: Board of Regents must act to protect DACA beneficiaries

President Eric Kaler, Regents of the University of Minnesota, and general public,

On behalf of La Raza Student Cultural Center, the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers — UMN Chapter, the Minnesota Student Association Executive Board, and the Alpha Beta Chapter of Sigma Lambda Beta International Fraternity, Inc., we publicly denounce the termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program by President Donald Trump on Sept. 5. 

As diverse organizations, we find the decision especially damaging to our communities’ safety. DACA students and their families are among the most vulnerable people in the country, and to target the lives these people have built here is in direct opposition to the freedoms promised to us by the US.

To those who are affected by this, know that you have all of our physical and emotional support in this fight, you are not alone. You can renew your DACA if it expires before March 5, 2018, but the application must be submitted before Oct. 5. No new DACA applications are being taken and no advance parole is being considered.

To those not targeted by this, we need you to use your voice by calling your representatives, donating to organizations benefitting undocumented folks, attending protests, educating yourselves on DACA and similar legislation, and showing up when the community needs us.

We are happy to know President Eric Kaler stands with DACA students per his statement on Sept. 5. The following actions should be enacted to ensure a basis of safety for students:

● Bar Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) from operating on all system campuses without a warrant.

● Make every effort to protect student information, including residency status.

● Continue support of the Minnesota Dream Act and financial support for undocumented students and their families, including wages, work-study, scholarships, and affordable on-campus housing.

● Provide distance-learning options for deported students to complete their degrees.

● Widely promote resources available to students such as Immigration Response Team and Student Legal Services.

● Reduce presence of UMPD at protests within its jurisdiction.

● Protect worker and student worker labor rights.

We urge the University of Minnesota Board of Regents to enact these items into policy in order to protect our students. We have 6 months to lobby and enact all of this on a university, state, and federal level. 

These students’ and families’ lives should be treated with respect and dignity not solely for their capital value, but because they are humans with inherent value. We want to reiterate our undivided support for your safety and existence.

Resources:

MN Freedom Fund, pays bail for detained undocumented folks

http://minnesotafreedomfund.org

Navigate MN, a Minnesota immigrants’ rights advocacy group

www.navigatemn.org/

(612) 314-6610

MIRAC, a Minnesota immigrants’ rights advocacy group

https://mirac1.wordpress.com/

(612) 888-6472

CTUL, a Minnesota labor rights advocacy group

ctul.net

(612) 332-0663

UMN Immigration Response Team

Immigration.umn.edu

(612) 624-422

Student Legal Services

http://usls.umn.edu/

(612) 624-1001

La Raza Student Cultural Center

Society for Hispanic Professional Engineers

The Minnesota Student Association Executive Board

Alpha Beta Chapter of Sigma Lambda Beta International Fraternity