Important messages regarding DACA and immigration from USC President C. L. Max Nikias and USC Provost Michael Quick
September 4, 2017
Below are a letter from USC President C. L. Max Nikias, along with memoranda from USC Provost Michael Quick, recently sent to students, faculty, staff and USC commuity. These communications address issues regarding federal policy concerning immigration, naturalization and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
Letter from USC President C. L. Max Nikias to the USC community – Sept. 4, 2017; full text available below
Memorandum from USC Provost Michael Quick to USC students, faculty, staff and USC community about DACA resources available on campus – Aug. 28, 2017
Text from Sept. 4, 2017, letter from USC President C. L. Max Nikias:
Dear USC community,
As we monitor potential changes to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, I am writing today to reinforce our full support for the members of our university community. This has been a difficult time for our nation and our campus as we collectively struggle with issues of diversity, inclusion, and citizenship. But we will continue to live by our shared values, ideals, and aspirations, as enshrined in our Principles of Community, to support everyone in our Trojan Family, regardless of immigration status or national origin.
As president of one of the most global and diverse university communities in the world, I am deeply concerned about the adverse impact that potential DACA changes might have on our DACA and undocumented students. We are enriched every day by the presence and contributions of our students from all backgrounds in our classrooms, labs, residence halls, and campuses. It is crucial to our mission that we continue to support and protect our students’ ability to finish their degrees and our faculty and staff’s ability to teach, conduct research, and work at our university.
To that end, as a member of the executive committee of the Association of American Universities, I continue to advocate alongside the presidents of our peer research universities to strongly urge the White House and Congress to find a pathway that will allow all students to finish their education in the United States. We will actively engage with our California Congressional delegation, and other elected officials, to protect our students.
Last week, Provost Michael Quick issued a university memo that articulated our university’s commitment, policies, and procedures regarding the DACA program. Let me reiterate a few of those here. Student records are not disseminated without student consent or a judicial order. Law enforcement authorities must present appropriate judicial warrants prior to assisting them in contacting anyone in our community. The university’s Department of Public Safety continues to follow the procedures of the Los Angeles Police Department, which does not initiate law enforcement activities based solely on immigration status.
In addition, we are committed to continuing to work closely with all of our students to ensure that we are meeting their financial and academic needs, particularly those needs that might arise from changes in DACA. We will continue to provide free, confidential legal advice and consultation, as well as legal support for naturalization, through our Immigration Clinic at the USC Gould School of Law. We will continue to follow suggestions of the Provost’s Advisory Task Force and Deans’ Steering Committee on immigration issues.
Let me end by saying that these issues touch me personally. My wife and I came to the United States to pursue the dream of a better life through better education. Consequently, as naturalized citizens, we know firsthand the foundational role that higher education plays in empowering and enabling us all to succeed and flourish, both personally and professionally. If it weren’t for the opportunities that our education gave us, we would not be here as your president and first lady, supporting all of you in our Trojan Family. Every individual deserves these same opportunities, and I am committed to ensuring the success and well-being of all members of our community so that the University of Southern California remains a global beacon of possibility, creativity, and compassion.
C. L. Max Nikias