Message on Tulane and DACA from President Fitts
September 5, 2017
Dear Tulane Community:
The White House announced today that the president will end the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program in six months. Along with many of my fellow university presidents, I urge Congress to act quickly to restore DACA through legislation.
In November I signed a statement, along with more than 600 other college and university presidents, expressing my support for the DACA program. This is a policy that protects from deportation undocumented young people raised in the United States, including hundreds of thousands of undocumented college students. DACA students have grown up in this country, worked and studied hard, and are an important part of university communities. We continue to welcome them as an important part of Tulane University.
In the meantime, I know that our students who registered under DACA will be understandably upset and anxious. Let me clarify, as much as I can, our own university policies, and you can find more guidance on this web page.
Other than international students here on student visas, Tulane does not track the immigration status of our students. Our admission and financial aid policies will not be affected. Further, federal law protects the privacy of student information. In accordance with the Federal Family Education and Rights of Privacy Act (FERPA), we cannot and will not voluntarily share private information about any of our students unless we are specifically required to do so because of a duly issued warrant or subpoena. While we cannot bar representatives of federal agencies such as Immigration and Customs Enforcement or Customs and Border Protection from entering our open campus, I can assure you that it is not the responsibility or the role of the Tulane University Police Department to conduct federal immigration enforcement.
Our new Office of Academic Equity, the Office of Multicultural Affairs, and the Office of International Students and Scholars are available to provide information and counsel for students who may have concerns about their status. We will continue to monitor the situation and determine if there are other things we can do to support DACA students.
I hope that the rest of the Tulane community will understand why some of our students feel particularly vulnerable right now. This is a moment to renew our commitment to treat one another with dignity and respect, and to communicate across our political differences. It is a moment for all of us to learn to discuss issues with those who disagree with us, whether from the left or the right, and to listen to them with an open heart.