Murray State University President Bob Davies said he hopes for a bipartisan Congressional effort to find a long-term solution for DACA recipients working towards university degrees and contributing to society.
DACA is the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program for people known as "DREAMers" who entered the country illegally as children. The Trump administration announced this week it will end DACA and will work with Congress to address immigration issues.
This decision means nearly 6,000 Kentuckians brought to the U.S. as undocumented children would be eligible for deportation. Most of the Kentucky DACA recipients live in Louisville. (See related statistics)
Davies said, "...we hope that the United States Congress, through a bipartisan effort, will take meaningful steps and as expeditiously as possible provide a long-term solution for DACA recipients to earn a university degree and continue along their pathways to be contributing members of society."
Davies described on Facebook Wednesday night following stories of a Murray State alum and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals - or DACA - program recipient teaching in Tennessee who has become vocal about her status.
Evelin Salgado recently shared her story with Nashville Public Radio and other news outlets.
Davies said he knew Salgado when she was a student but did not know she was a DACA recipient until recently. He described her as a ‘good student’ who ‘worked hard’ and said he shared her story not to ‘convince anyone’ but to share the perspective of someone he says is “positively impacting others.” He suggested people consider “multiple sides” on issues and to take time to learn about issues and come to an informed conclusion.
He acknowledged that there are DACA students attending Murray State who are “working to earn their degree and be contributing members of our communities.” He added that the university serves all students from all backgrounds “who put forth the energy to study, are guided by honest intellectual inquiry, have the required persistence and tenacity to persevere and are committed to being engaged learners.”
Murray State issued a statement that says the university supports a diverse community of students regardless of their background or country of origin. It says concerned students and families should contact the Division of Student Affairs for assistance.
The university also said they will continue to protect the privacy of students and will not release information related to their immigration status unless required to by law or to protect the individual’s safety. The statement pointed to the Federal Education Records Protection Act or FERPA. This is a law that protects the privacy of education records.
Murray State's Full Statement:
Murray State University is and remains a student-centered university dedicated to supporting a diverse community of student scholars in their educational pursuits, regardless of their background or country of origin. Students and families concerned about the potential changes may contact the Division of Student Affairs for assistance and access to a variety of resources, including confidential counseling.
Murray State University will continue to protect the privacy of all students equally and will not release information related to a person’s immigration status unless required by law or in order to protect the individual’s safety. For more information on the privacy of student records, please see the University’s policy on the Federal Education Records Protection Act (FERPA).