Dear Los Rios Community,
On Tuesday, the United States Department of Justice announced the administration’s plan to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. This decision has the potential to be incredibly harmful for our students, the state of California and indeed the entire nation.
Many of our students are understandably scared and worried about what this means for them and their families. We continue to stand with our students and remain committed to their safety and well-being (read our Board resolution on this topic (PDF)). DACA has afforded hundreds of students in the Los Rios colleges with the opportunity to pursue a college education and improve the lives of their families. Its elimination would cause serious and lasting damage.
In the announcement, the federal government indicated that they plan on “winding down” the program, saying that there will be no immediate change in status for those currently enrolled in DACA but that they will no longer accept new applications. They also announced that those whose permits expire by March 5, 2018 will be permitted to apply for two-year renewals, but it’s unclear what the long-term implications of this would be for applicants. The announcement by the Trump Administration also indicates a desire for Congress to address this issue, but it remains to be seen what, if anything, Congress will do.
We encourage all DACA students to stay informed on this issue and take advantage of the various resources available on campus and throughout our community. A list of some of those resources can be found on the Los Rios Website. Additional resources are also available from the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office. While we know these are uncertain and scary times, we encourage students to stay enrolled in classes and, for those who are working, maintain their employment. Students should not do anything to jeopardize their current status. DACA enrollees should not leave the country.
As we mentioned last week, we have formed a Rapid Response Team of appropriate leaders from around Los Rios to coordinate our district and colleges’ response to the changes to DACA and all the potential impacts on students, both in the short and long term. We will also continue to advocate to state and national leaders – and anyone else who will listen – for the protection of DACA and for our students.
We will continue to keep you updated as new information is available.
Chancellor, Los Rios CCD
President, Cosumnes River College
President, American River College
President, Sacramento City College
President, Folsom Lake College