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NMSU Chancellor Issues Statement Regarding Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals

Former NMSU Chancellor Dr. Garrey Carruthers

Commentary: New Mexico State University stands with our students and employees who are part of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program, also known as DACA. This program was created more than five years ago as a way to provide protection from deportation to certain individuals who were brought to the United States as children by their parents. For many of our DACA students and employees, the U.S. is the only country they know. They’ve lived here as long as they can remember, and they are an important part of our culture and our future.

Right now, the fate of the DACA program is uncertain, as the executive and legislative branches of the federal government consider changes to the program, including its possible elimination. This is an unsettling situation for everyone who is part of the DACA program. It’s also especially disheartening because people were encouraged to sign up for the program as a way to alleviate the anxiety of living in the country with an undocumented status.

We will continue to closely monitor this situation and provide updates as needed. Long-term, we will work with our congressional delegation and others to ensure that our DACA students and employees can continue their education and/or employment and participate fully in our university and our society. In the short term, I encourage DACA students who are in distress to take advantage of counseling services available at the Aggie Health and Wellness Center. Our Chicano Programs Office, headed by Dr. Laura Gutierrez-Spencer, is another source of support for student and employees.

As I’ve said before, among our most important responsibilities at NMSU is to provide a safe and caring community where all students can focus on learning without fear of persecution and where all faculty and staff know that they are valued and supported. We are all Aggies, and the support we offer to members of the Aggie family is the same, no matter where a student or an employee was born.