Department Statement on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
September 5, 2017
The Department of Chicano and Latino Studies stands in solidarity with undocumented migrants in the United States. We oppose the recent decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) which was introduced under the Obama Administration in 2012 and later expanded in 2014. The policy allows for a three year work permit and pauses the deportation process. While we recognize that DACA is not a perfect solution, we acknowledge the immense labor families, workers, organizers, and community members put forth to pressure policy makers to create an alternative pathway for migrants.
We understand this present political moment to be one thread within a larger colonial tapestry. The deportation regime is not a new phenomenon. U.S. policies have opened borders during times of war and labor shortages and increased deportations while building walls during times of socio-economic unrest. Fear-based, xenophobic rhetoric has historically tainted the cultural milieu and maintained exploitative labor conditions to sway elected officials to sign anti-immigrant legislation. At the same time, history shows us a sustained organizing tradition enacted by children, families, and communities to resist the deportation regime.
As faculty and staff at a leading public university we welcome, are inspired by, and greatly learn from our undocumented students and family members. We remind all students and campus community members that our department last year committed to making our office and computer lab sanctuary space for the undocumented and all other marginalized communities. Finally, we urge President Kaler and the U of MN administration to re-commit to their promise to keep immigration officials off campus and to not cooperate with requests to reveal students’ confidential information.