September 5, 2017

Goucher’s Response to the DACA Announcement

Dear Goucher Community,

We live in increasingly difficult times, and are continually faced with large questions about who we are as people, and as a community. I feel an overwhelming sense of pride in knowing that when our community faces these challenges, we consistently step up and accept our role as being agents of change for a better world. Earlier this year, I shared an important message with members of our community:

ALL of our students are welcome here and important members of the Goucher College community. We affirm all members of our community, including foreign-born people, immigrants and non-immigrants with intersecting identities, people of color, and people of marginalized religious backgrounds, as well as all members of our community whose identities, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, ability, race, or national background might put them at risk from changes in government policy - you are ALL part of our community. You can find the entire letter here.

Earlier today, it was announced that President Trump intends to end the federal policy known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). This policy helps provide educational access and opportunities for a significant number of undocumented individuals who were brought to the United States as children, a group often described as “Dreamers,” including some of our own current students. We will continue our current admissions policies, which do not discriminate on the basis of immigration status, as well as maintain financial support for current DACA students. Also, please note that the Center for Race, Equity and Identity (CREI) is organizing an event, “Call to Action: The Next Phase of DACA,” to support DACA students. CREI will provide information about DACA, as well materials to use in advocating for a more permanent legislative solution through Congress. The event will be held on Wednesday, September 13, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at a table in the Hyman Forum.

We stand firm in our commitment to all of our students, including those affected by any potential changes that could occur with the dissolution of DACA. Further, please remember that that Baltimore County, where we are located, is a sanctuary county in which county law enforcement will not inquire about the immigration status of those they encounter, and detainees will not be kept past their release dates at the request of federal deportation agents, unless those agents have presented a judicial order. While we, as a College, will continue to support the legal and peaceful process of passing and enforcing laws, we also hold strong to the belief that it is the responsibility of academic institutions to question our leaders when we believe injustice is prevailing. As an institution of higher education, Goucher College will continue to celebrate and encourage respectful discourse amongst all members of our community and will also continue to welcome citizens from around the world. Resources and questions regarding our policies are available on our website, which will be updated as the situation changes. 


José Antonio Bowen