From the President, re. DACA and Undocumented Students

October 10, 2022

Dear Colleagues,

Last week, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the State of Texas, et al., v. United States (2021) ruling that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program is unlawful. While the ruling keeps DACA protections in place for now, the program is at the highest risk it has ever been.

The fundamental responsibility of a public education institution is to foster learning, and personal growth while providing an inclusive, supportive environment for any student willing to put in the work to achieve their goals. As you know, Southern admits students based on a holistic approach and provides open access to all DACA and undocumented students.

As we continue to support our DACA and undocumented student community, please be reminded that:

  • Southern does not collect or retain information about undocumented students' immigration status, and does not maintain a list of undocumented students.
  • Southern will not create such a list or document and would not share such information with others.
  • University police do not inquire about a student's immigration status during the course of their work -  that including anyone seeking assistance from the police department.
  • No student will be detained solely on the basis of their immigration status. This is standard operating procedure for our University Police and that will not change.
  • While many of our undocumented students are DACA recipients, others are not. Our commitment to undocumented students and providing access to resources is the same regardless of their status.

Information on how to further support our undocumented students our students, is available at:

In addition, on-campus teach-ins and educational opportunities are being planned for students, faculty and staff. At the national level, The Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration, of which Southern is a member, has prepared 5 Things Colleges and Universities can do in the Wake of the Fifth Circuit’s Decision on DACA, updated its campus support checklist and is hosting an October 19th webinar and conversation with policy and campus experts on effective practices to support undocumented students during this pivotal time. More resources for higher education institutions are available here.

I thank you for your continued efforts to create a campus environment that advances our care and support for undocumented and DACA students.

Sincerely,

Joe Bertolino
President