Chancellor's statements | Immigration | LGBTQ | - ALL -

Although it appears that this proposed change to the enforcement of federal Title IX civil rights law is only at a preliminary stage, I want to take this opportunity to state unequivocally that we reject any reinterpretation of Title IX that results in the elimination of protections for transgender individuals, and we remain committed to fostering a campus climate that acknowledges the dignity of every member of our community.

While the long-term future of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program remains uncertain and is the focus of national debate, a federal court ruling has created an immediate opportunity for some individuals to pursue DACA renewals. The university strongly encourages eligible students and staff to act promptly. If needed, UMass Amherst will offer access to non-state funding through its donor-supported Angel Fund to aid their applications and pay for legal assistance.

In light of President Trump’s decision today to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program or DACA, which provides deportation relief for undocumented immigrants who came to this country as children, I want to reassure our entire campus community that my administration and I will do everything within our power to provide the support necessary for our most vulnerable students to pursue their educational advancement.

Vital to that process is a campus task force that is coordinating responses to executive orders and changes in related federal policies. Today, I am announcing that this group will be chaired by John McCarthy, vice provost for graduate education and dean of the Graduate School.

In the week since I last wrote regarding the dramatic and unprecedented shifts in federal policy brought on by the presidential transition, the effects of President Trump’s executive order on immigration have been felt far and wide. With travelers stranded at airports, families separated, and our own international students and scholars facing unimaginable stress and uncertainty, I want to make it absolutely clear that I will do everything in my power to support and protect every member of our diverse campus community.

I want to offer a warm welcome back to campus to our students, faculty and staff. And to those of you who are new to UMass, we are pleased to have you join our lively and diverse campus community.

I welcome the sentiments expressed in the petition that was delivered to the UMass Amherst administration Wednesday, and want to assure our campus community that we will do everything within our legal and moral authority to protect our students, faculty and staff whether they be undocumented immigrants, refugees or international students. I and my administration are fully committed, as we always have been, to ensuring a safe and welcoming environment for every member of our community, regardless of immigration status.

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