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“The bosom of America is open to receive not only the Opulent and respectable Stranger, but the oppressed and persecuted of all Nations And Religions; whom we shall welcome to a participation of all our rights and privileges, if by decency and propriety of conduct they appear to merit the enjoyment.” ― George Washington
Dear United States Congress:
We write as the institutional leaders of America’s community colleges – large and small; urban, suburban and rural; and with widely varying student populations and programs. But each and every community college is dedicated to the proposition that accessible, high-quality college education should be available to all those who aspire to it.
The president’s decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program has created turmoil and anxiety on community college campuses across the country. The president’s action gives Congress the enormous responsibility of acting quickly and definitively to ensure that DACA-covered students can continue to concentrate on their studies without fear of deportation or other disruptions.
Now is the time to enact The Dream Act, or something similar, to help thousands of DACA recipients pursue and achieve their dreams of a higher education. For many DACA recipients, the U.S. has been the only place they’ve ever called home. They must meet stringent requirements to qualify for the program. With the DACA work authorization, recipients are making enormous economic, social, and civic contributions. They should be encouraged to stay in our country, not face deportation.
As leaders in our local communities, we hope that a bipartisan solution on this compelling issue can be reached quickly. We stand ready to provide any support needed to achieve this. Our students deserve nothing less.
Walter G. Bumphus, Ph.D.
President and CEO
American Association of Community Colleges
Information from the webinar One Year Later: Immigrant Trauma and How to Deal with It, hosted by the Public Education Institute at The Immigrant Learning Center in Malden, MA, on November 9, 2017.
Strategies to Support Immigrants (recording)
Dr. Westy Egmont, Eileen Kugler, Dr. Usha Tummala-Narra, Caitlin Tromiczak and Denzil Mohammed
Article from Eileen Kugler, “Supporting Families in a Time of Fear”
Presenting with Politics: The Psychological Effects of Current Immigration Policy and Sentiment (recording)
Dr. Usha Tummala-Narra Slides
Actions, Words and Impact: Trump-era Policies and Rule Changes and Who They’re Impacting (recording)
Sarang Sekhavat, Esq. Slides
Presenter contact information:
Denzil Mohammed, Public Education Institute at The Immigrant Learning Center: firstname.lastname@example.org
Westy Egmont, Ph.D., Immigrant Integration Lab, Boston College: email@example.com
Eileen Kugler, Embrace Diverse Schools: EKugler@EmbraceDiverseSchools.com
Usha Tummala-Narra, Ph.D., Lynch School of Education, Boston College: firstname.lastname@example.org
Caitlin Tromiczak, Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition: Caitlin@tassc.org
Sarang Sekhavat, Esq., Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy (MIRA) Coalition: email@example.com
From the Community College Consortium for Immigrant Education (CCCIE)
From Acting Highline College President Jeff Wagnitz (April 20, 2017)
Yesterday, on Highline College’s behalf, I joined with over 1,000 other educational institutions and organizations across the nation in signing the National Institutions Coming Out Day (NICOD) pledge, reaffirming our commitment to the educational rights of immigrants and refugees. An acknowledgement from the organizers is attached. We have participated in previous NICODs in recent years.
Highline’s NICOD pledge will join Highline’s other recent statements — such as “Message to Students: We Remain Committed to You” and “Highline College President Joins Effort for Continuation of DACA” — on the college’s online resource bank for immigrants and refugees. The site includes up-to-date information, resources, referrals, and notice of upcoming events.
Supporting our immigrant and refugee communities, including the undocumented, is in keeping with our values of inclusion and equity. NICOD serves as a reminder to us about the work we do daily: offer all students a safe and welcoming environment where diversity is not only celebrated, but seen as an asset.
Guidance Concerning Immigration Enforcement (April 2017) is a report released by Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson. The report is designed to offer "guidance seeks to answer questions local agencies— including libraries, law enforcement agencies, hospitals, and schools —may have about the impacts of changes to immigration laws and their discretion regarding participation in federal immigration enforcement. Best practices that agencies can implement are included in each section. Additional resources are identified throughout and included in the appendices.)
Immigration 101 at the Seattle Public Library
Watch the video of the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP) hosting a free training for allies and service providers about recent changes to immigration policy and how one can be a better ally for immigrants in our community. According to NWIRP, topics covered include: details of due process rights, as well as recent developments like Trump's travel ban, and information on what you can pass on to immigrants and refugees in our community.
(Note: this presentation was done on March 2 at the Seattle Public Library. It was a joint presentation by the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project and the Seattle Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs).
Free online service that helps you apply for citizenship, step-by-step. Find out about potential problems with your application and connect to the expert help you need, either online or in person. Find out what documents you need to submit, and what to expect after you apply. (Description from Seattle Public Library)
From the Protecting Immigrant Families organization:
"On 9/22, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has issued a press release and the text of the public charge rule. On 10/10, the rule was officially published in the Federal Register. See our Campaign Resources on this issue.
Also, the Seattle Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs have these translated FAQs directed towards Seattle residents, which include downloadable and printable flyers:
Dear Immigrants Rising Friend,
Also, here are some other ways to stay informed and engaged:
Renewing my DACA will enable me to continue doing the work I love and creating positive change. Please join me in encouraging as many DACA beneficiaries as possible to seize this critical moment.
Best, Samuel Park
Dr. Jeff Wagnitz, Highline College’s Acting President, has joined the presidents of Washington’s six public baccalaureate college and universities, 33 other community and technical colleges, the 10 members of Independent Colleges of Washington, and the 10 members of Washington Student Achievement Council in a joint statement protesting President Donald Trump’s decision to terminate the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program, also known as DACA, in six months.
“Today’s announcement leaves us with profound disappointment and pained yet unequivocal resolve to stand up for our students who are among the 800,000 nationwide registered under DACA. These young people are some of the finest and most resilient students at our colleges and universities, often exhibiting unique character forged in the fire of adversity. They overcome major obstacles just to gain and retain eligibility without access to the federal financial assistance needed by so many to help make a college education attainable.
In Washington, all of our students, regardless of their immigration status, are invaluable to the teaching we provide in our classrooms, the research we perform in our labs, and the discoveries we make in medicine. These students and those who came before them are not strangers on our campuses, in our communities, and in our homes. They are our neighbors, our co-workers, our friends and our family. They are us.
Our nation’s history has proven that education and service are essential components to sustaining communities and stimulating economic growth in addition to helping create personal success and happiness. Washington ‘s colleges and universities are working aggressively to produce graduates with degrees in science, business, technology, and medicine and a variety of other high-demand areas of endeavor. Employers in their desperate search for talented young people are already reaching out of state to fill top jobs. DACA graduates are playing and will continue to play an important role in meeting this critical need in the state of Washington. They embody the initiative and resolve that has made the United States of America the most prosperous and innovative country in the world.
This lamentable decision to end DACA threatens to rob us of hundreds of thousands of gifted, hardworking, and dedicated young people who are American in every way but their immigration status. We agree with the many business leaders throughout the country who are urging Congress to pass the bipartisan Dream Act or legislation that will allow these students to continue to contribute to the global competitive environment.”
Letter sent to Highline College Students by Jeff Wagnitz (Acting College President)
February 1, 2017
Dear Highline College students,
Understandably, in light of recent national events, some of you may be concerned about the potential impact of changes in federal immigration policy, including repeal of DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents of Americans) executive orders. For many, last weekend’s news served to heighten those concerns.
At this uncertain time, we want to affirm our support for all our students, their families, and communities. South King County is home to a wide variety of languages, ethnicities, nationalities-of-origin, and faith traditions. We believe that diversity is our region’s greatest asset. Please consider this email as a recommitment to Highline’s values of inclusion and equity across our communities.
In addition to reaffirming our values, we also want to provide you with information.
The enforcement of immigration policy is the responsibility of the federal government, not campus officials. For our students, that means:
Highline College remains committed to offering all students a safe and welcoming environment. We encourage you to report any harassment, bullying, or threats based on immigration status, religion, or national origin. This kind of behavior is not tolerated on Highline’s campus or in our classes and is a potential violation of the Student Conduct Code or anti-harassment policy.
In solidarity, Highline College is proud to join a national movement of colleges and universities that stand opposed to changes in immigration policy that could threaten members of our student body. We also continue to engage with local organizations that provide immigration-related services in our community.
While we continue to monitor local, state, and national policy, we will do our best to answer questions that you may have about how changes in immigration policy may affect you or your family’s educational plans. To that end, we are working to develop a resource bank with up-to-date information, resources, and referrals on these matters. It can be found at libguides.highline.edu/immigrationresource.
Highline College Acting President
This letter does not fall under public domain or open licenses.
Gov. Jay Inslee signed an executive order on February 23, 2017 affirming and clarifying Washington state’s policies for state agencies who provide services to immigrant Washingtonians.
According to the Seattle Times article (Feb. 23, 2017)
"Inslee signs order limiting Washington state’s help in enforcing Trump’s immigration policies" the executive order in part
"directs state agencies to refrain from inquiring about a person’s immigration status for the sole purpose of determining whether someone has complied with immigration laws, such as those related to work permits or alien registration.
"The order maintains the State Patrol’s existing policy of not stopping, detaining or interrogating people solely to determine their immigration status, said Kyle Moore, State Patrol spokesman.
"Likewise, state agencies under the order are not allowed to aid or enforce any federal program to register people on their basis of religion. That part takes aim at the prospect at a national Muslim registry, which some Trump supporters have suggested.
"The order also bars state agencies from discriminating against people based on national origin. And it says agencies cannot refuse services to people because of their immigration status, except as required by state or federal law."