( To see who has already signed the letter, please go to: http://bit.ly/2erM0z0 . The list will be updated daily. )=======
Dear Presidents of Arizona Community Colleges and Public Universities:
In light of the outcome of the recent Presidential Election, and the divisive and dangerous language and actions observed by some groups throughout the election, we ask that our institutions of higher education reaffirm their commitment to diversity by ensuring the safety and security of all our students, and specifically DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) students enrolled in Arizona community colleges and state universities.
With inauguration of the Trump administration, we anticipate that protections afforded under executive order will end. Based on media reports, there may be approximately 2000 DACA students in Arizona’s public institutions of higher education. The prospect of what will eventuate in January 2017 has spread terror among DACA students and their families. In the next semester, we face the prospect of mass arrests, imprisonment, and deportation for students who have spent most of their lives in the United States and have been educated in American school classrooms.
First, we wish to express public support for DACA students and their families. These are our friends with whom we learn together. We offer our heartfelt assistance.
Second, we ask the administrations of Arizona’s community colleges and public universities to provide the assistance that is within their power.
Specifically, we request that you:
• Ensure that student privacy remains guaranteed.• Assign an administrative office the responsibility for counseling DACA students on their educational situation. Advertise that DACA student counseling services are available on a strictly confidential basis.• Continue in-state resident tuition for DACA students who have qualified previously.• In the event of arrest, imprisonment, and deportation, or due to student reluctance to travel to or appear on campus, have in place arrangements for online continuation of their degree programs.• Take these measures during the current semester (in other words, immediately) so that DACA students can be assured of institutional support towards continuing in school next semester, retention, and completion of their degree programs.
Arizona’s public higher education institutions and DACA students share a common goal of successful completion of studies and degree programs. As faculty and students, we ask that education remain our priority.
Our institutions of higher education should strive to be safe and welcoming places for people of color, as well as members of the indigenous, LGBTQ, women-identified, undocumented, Muslim and Jewish communities and their allies. We ask that Arizona’s universities and colleges take steps to ensure all students, regardless of background, beliefs, or immigration status, will be supported in pursuit of their studies and degree completion. We also ask that you protect all members of the community from unfair deportation, investigation, or other intimidation, as well as unfair prosecution.