Support and Protections for Undocumented and DACA Students

Posted: November 21, 2016

Dear Scripps College Students, Faculty, and Staff,

Over the past couple of weeks, I have had thoughtful conversations with many members of this community about the ways in which we can ensure that Scripps College remains a place of safety and security for those who may lose their legal protections under new policies proposed by the President-elect. Like many of you, I am troubled by the prospect of new federal laws that could threaten the physical, economic, and social foundations of marginalized communities nationwide and I believe we should take meaningful action to protect members of our community. We are grateful to the many members of this community who have made clear their concerns and provided their ideas.

We are proud that the Scripps College community is composed of students, staff, faculty, and alumnae from diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences. Further, we insist that every member of our community be treated with dignity, respect, and value regardless of race, ethnicity, political identity, religious affiliation, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, immigration status, or ability.

The possibility of deportation of undocumented immigrants is causing pain and anxiety for those who face the severe and devastating consequences of anti-immigrant policies, and many of us are concerned about the impact of such policies on friends, colleagues, and neighbors. In solidarity with undocumented and DACAmented members of our community, Scripps College commits to protecting the civil rights of students, faculty, and staff who face discrimination based on immigration status. Additionally, Scripps College commits to the following actions:

  • To stand with other institutions of higher education in supporting the preservation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which will help preserve broad access to educational opportunities and ensure that diverse people, cultures, and perspectives contribute to the nation’s intellectual vitality and advancement.
  • Add “immigration status” as a protected category under the College’s discrimination and harassment policy to explicitly recognize the struggles of undocumented and DACAmented students, faculty, and staff at Scripps and the Claremont Colleges.
  • Beginning this academic year’s admission cycle, Scripps will admit, and provide need-based financial aid (renewable for four years), to one first-year undocumented or DACAmented student. The student’s need will be met 100 percent with a Scripps College grant.
  • Create an emergency fund to support fees for legal advice and representation for students confronting immigration-related or other civil rights issues.
  • Co-sponsorship of a full day of consultations for DACA students with leading immigration attorney Adam Green and paralegal Sharika Kaur, who is a Scripps alumna, on December 6.
  • Allocate additional funding for the off-campus therapist referral program, which expands the diversity of therapists available to students for immediate and long-term counseling.

I am grateful to be a part of such a compassionate community that is deeply committed to changing the world for the better through embodying Scripps’ ideals of leadership, service, integrity, and creativity. In the weeks ahead, the senior team and I will continue to explore additional programs and policies that will unify, educate, and support Scripps students, faculty, and staff who face uncertain outcomes as a result of changing federal policies. I invite your suggestions as well as your partnership in reinforcing Scripps’ values and strengthening the ties that bind our community together.

Sincerely,

Lara Tiedens

President

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