On Tuesday, President Trump’s administration announced an end to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, which protects young, undocumented immigrants.
The next day, Ohio University students, faculty and administration met in the Multicultural Center to discuss how the university is responding to the program’s termination and its potential effects on OU students.
The university will comply with the law, John Biancamano, general counsel for OU’s Office of Legal Affairs, said.
“We would not disclose anything unless a court told us to,” Biancamano said.
Front-office employees of the university have been instructed to direct any U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers to talk to the legal affairs office if they come to campus looking for undocumented citizens, Lorna Jean Edmonds, a professor and vice provost for Global Affairs and International Studies, said.
International Student and Faculty Services has made resources available for students and faculty affected by DACA, including legal advice, Edmonds said. She added that the problem is clear and the university needs to find a solution.
Edmonds said in the past she has discussed a scenario with Canadian universities in which OU could gain a peer institution. The discussion, which arose before changes were made to DACA, was focused around a solution to a potential situation in which international students were not welcomed back to the U.S. or were asked to leave the country, she said.
An idea of a resolution would be that the students would attend the Canadian school and finish out their OU degree.
Several people have called legal affairs about the end of DACA, Beth Kaufman, associate general counsel for legal affairs, said. She encouraged students associated with DACA to apply to renew their permits before the October 5 deadline.
Throughout the meeting, many questions were asked of administration from people across campus about the steps the university is taking moving forward.
“This is an important time to come together,” David Descutner, interim executive vice president and provost, said.