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Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Faust Denounces 'Cruel' DACA Decision

From Harvard Crimson

Faust Denounces 'Cruel' DACA Decision

Defenders of the Undocumented
Students gathered on the steps of Widener Library to advocate for the defense of undocumented students at Harvard last year. 
University President Drew G. Faust swiftly condemned the Trump administration’s decision Tuesday to end an Obama-era program that protects undocumented youth.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions publicly announced President Donald Trump’s much-awaited decision on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program at a morning press conference at the Justice Department. Tuesday marked a deadline 10 states imposed on the Trump administration to end DACA, or else face a legal challenge, and Trump asked Congress to take legislative action before the program expires in March 2018.
“This cruel policy recognizes neither justice nor mercy,” Faust wrote in an email to Harvard affiliates of the decision. “In the months to come, we will make every effort to have our voice heard, in the halls of Congress and elsewhere, about the need for the protections of DACA to continue.”
The program, put in place by former President Barack Obama via executive order in 2012, provides work authorizations and protected status to undocumented young people who arrived in the U.S. at a young age. It allows around 790,000 youth to work and go to school without fear of deportation, including several dozen Harvard students.
In recent weeks, as the Tuesday deadline loomed, immigrant rights advocates, hundreds of U.S. CEOs, and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have implored Trump to preserve the program. University President Drew G. Faust—a vocal advocate for undocumented students—sent a letter to Trump defending DACA last week.
Approximately 65 undocumented students attend Harvard, according to Katie M. Derzon, the Office for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion’s fellow for undocumented students. Since Trump’s election, the University has ramped up resources for undocumented students—hiring Derzon and a full-time attorney at the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Law Clinic, bringing immigration law experts to campus to provide legal consultations, and circulating memos with guidance for undocumented students, among other measures.
With an announcement nearing, resident deans sent messages over House lists on Monday evening outlining these resources and expressing support for undocumented students.
—This is a developing story. Check thecrimson.com for updates.