February 23, 2018

Stanford’s commitments to undocumented students

This continues to be a time of anxiety and uncertainty for many people in our country, as the federal government works to define a future for those who have been covered under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

As I write this, we do not have clarity about the path ahead. The Trump administration had indicated it would end the DACA program effective March 5. Discussions in Congress about a replacement program have been unsuccessful so far. Two federal court orders have upheld the continuation of DACA for now, but there are more steps to come in the judicial process. We all hope to learn more in the days ahead.

Stanford continues to stand in firm support of our community, including undocumented students. In the discussions of DACA, it is important to remember that those who are affected were brought to the United States as children, have made lives for themselves in this country, have been educated here and have abided by the law, and yet now face an unsettled future through no fault of their own. It is in our country’s interest to embrace them in the work of learning and discovery, including at universities like Stanford.

With our partners and peer institutions in higher education, we have been advocating actively for the rights of DACA students, in both the judicial process and the legislative process – some of those efforts are detailed here.

Given the uncertainties of the moment, I want to state a few things about Stanford’s commitments to undocumented members of our community, including those who have DACA status:

  1. We will do everything legally possible to protect our community.
    As we have said before, our Department of Public Safety has no responsibility for immigration enforcement and, consistent with the policy of the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office, will not inquire about immigration status in the normal course of its duties and will not participate in other agencies’ immigration enforcement activities unless legally required to do so. Stanford also keeps student and personnel records private and will not share such information with immigration agencies unless legally required to do so. Any Stanford office that receives a request for information from an immigration enforcement agency should route that request to our Office of General Counsel.
  1. We continue to offer resources to those who need help.
    Any Stanford student who has a concern regarding their undocumented status can receive a free legal consultation from the Immigrants’ Rights Clinic of Stanford Law School and can get started by emailing fordreamers@stanford.edu. Additional legal resources for other members of our community are available, as well. We also continue to offer counseling and support through expanded CAPS offerings at the Bechtel International Center and our Centers for Equity, Community, and Leadership. The Dean of Students is available to help anyone who needs assistance getting in touch with the right support resources at Stanford. Finally, a DACA information update has been scheduled for Thursday, March 1, at noon at El Centro Chicano y Latino in coordination with the Immigrants’ Rights Clinic of Stanford Law School and the Asian American Activities Center.
  1. For any student eligible to renew their DACA status who needs financial assistance in doing so, Stanford will cover the renewal fees.
    Please make a request for funds to the through the Opportunity Fund.
    Stanford will use institutional scholarship funds to cover gaps in a current undergraduate student’s financial aid package that result from the expiration of their authorization to work in the United States. 
    Any expectation to work that is currently part of the financial aid package will be replaced with scholarship for those who are unable to maintain work authorization. For current undergraduates who will be graduating this year and may face the expiration of their work authorization, Stanford will provide financial support for up to three additional quarters of academic work in support of a double major or co-term degree.
    If you have concerns about your financial status because of the expiration of DACA and you are a:
  • GSB student: Please see Jack Edwards in the GSB
  • SLS student: Please see Faye Deal in the Law School
  • GSE student: Please see Shu-Ling Chen in the Dean’s Office
  • SoM student: MD students should see Martha Trujillo in the School of Medicine; other graduate students should see Ayodele Thomas in the Office for Graduate Education
  • H&S student: Please see Suzi Weersing in the Dean’s Office
  • SoE student: Please see Sally Gressens in the Dean’s Office
  • SE3 student: Please see Robyn Dunbar in SE3
    If you have concerns about your financial status because of the expiration of DACA, please see Sofie Kleppner in the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs.

We will continue to keep you informed via our undocumented.stanford.edu website. Please seek help from the university when you need it. And please extend your understanding to others in our community, for whom this may be a particularly stressful time.