On Wednesday, Sept. 6, we got a message from our university’s provost, Beth Ingram. And make no mistake, the message was plain and simple. We, here at NDSU, stand with those students protected under DACA.
For those of you who may not know, DACA or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals is an Obama Administration initiative from 2012 that gave two years of protection to undocumented immigrants and offered them eligibility for work permits. This program has roughly 800,000 individuals who have been tagged as ‘dreamers.’
This program has allowed immigrants to pursue higher education, which is why the email from the provost is so vital.
North Dakota State, as of last year’s fall population (2016), had 14,432 students. Of those students, an overwhelmingly large population is White-Non-Hispanic. But one group has almost doubled in size since fall 2011 — Latinos.
Granted, this increase is from 1.06 percent to 2.02 percent for fall 2011 to fall 2016, but with this statement from the provost, it is obvious that NDSU values that population amongst the numbers.
Ingram stated, “NDSU was founded in the belief that access to higher education was the key to expanding economic opportunity, providing practical knowledge to our citizens and creating leaders for our communities.” Simply, this is a land-grant university, a university for the people of the land. A university where individuals should have a fighting chance to seek education and become valuable members of society.
Especially for those willing to work hard within our university to succeed and graduate. Dreamers can just as easily become student leaders and vital pieces of our university if they are given the equal chance that we grant to everyone else.
In comes President Donald Trump, who has promised to end DACA since the early stages of his campaign. On Sept. 5, Attorney General Jeff Sessions declared that DACA would indeed be rescinded.
For those of us who don’t have to worry about constant threats of deportation from the only country we call home it can all seem trivial.
For most students, our biggest concerns are exams, meal plans or paying bills on time. I, for one, cannot fathom having to worry about being deported. Especially when you are trying to improve yourself and get an education here at NDSU.
Ingram goes on to say, “We are committed to supporting the success of all of our students and to providing them with the opportunity to pursue their academic and career dreams.”
This is one of my biggest complaints to any illegal immigrant conversation — these undocumented individuals are not lazy. They work hard like the rest of us and for the children of undocumented individuals to have your dreams taken away is criminal. To be told that, because of your parents trying to give you a better life, we must now take away that better life affecting your future, is sickening.
Ingram finishes her email by saying, “We join with the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) in supporting the academic goals of all of the young people who have enrolled in our Universities, including those registered under DACA.”
To those registered under DACA, this email doesn’t offer a get-out-of-deportation card sadly, but the sentiment needs to be noted. Where our government currently has taken the stance of repeal and replace whenever our university wants to protect those directly impacted by these decisions.
NDSU is a center for education and should recognize that political maneuvers and rash decisions that affect hundreds of thousands of people is reckless and goes against everything that America stands for. So, thank you Beth Ingram, thank you for offering your support and the university’s support for those students registered under DACA in this terribly turbulent time.