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Suzanne Goldberg Releases Statement Supporting DACA Students

a group of students at night in front of Low Library protesting Trump's Muslim Ban

Students rallying against the Travel Ban in January

Executive Vice President for University Student Life Suzanne Goldberg released a statement via email to the Columbia community Tuesday afternoon in response to the day’s announcement of the end of the DACA program. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals protected “some of our students and… nearly 800,000 undocumented young people nationwide,” but will officially end on March 5, 2018.

Executive Vice President Goldberg’s statement said that DACA’s end “cuts against our most basic sense of fairness and decency.” She assured undocumented students that the university will protect their physical safety and personal information and pointed students towards a new DACA homepage on the Office of University Life website. Columbia will provide pro bono legal assistance for DACA recipients, which is similar to what the university did in response to the Trump administration’s Muslim travel ban. The statement also offered future financial compensation for students losing DACA work authorization.

In addition to University Resources, UndoCU announced today on Facebook that Casa Latin@ will be open today as a safe space for those who “seek solidarity and connection in face of the duress of the day.”

Update, 6:00 pm: Barnard College President Sian Beilock has released a statement supporting undocumented students. Her email, which also touched on other Trump administration issues such as trans rights and federal student aid, pledged support, denounced the rescinding of DACA, and advertised Barnard’s Immigration Updates and Resources page.

You can read Executive Vice President Goldberg’s full email below:

Dear Students and Colleagues:

Our community has long included undocumented students. And Columbia has long held the view that federal law and policy should support, rather than derail, the education of students here and around the country.

The federal government’s announcement today that it is rescinding Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which has provided essential protection to some of our students and to nearly 800,000 undocumented young people nationwide, cuts against our most basic sense of fairness and decency.

Columbia unequivocally opposes the ending of DACA and is working with others in higher education to urge Congress and federal officials to reinstate DACA’s protections and protect the rights of those with DACA status during and after the “wind-down” process that has been announced.

As Provost Coatsworth wrote to the community last November, our policies and plans aim to ensure that students who had DACA coverage are able to proceed unimpeded with their studies and that all students in the community feel safe and understand beyond question that Columbia’s dedication to inclusion and diversity, including of undocumented students, is and will remain unwavering.

As a reminder, it is University policy that Columbia will neither allow immigration officials on our campuses without a warrant, nor share information on the immigration status of undocumented students with those officials unless required by subpoena or court order, or authorized by the student.

The Office of University Life will continue its working group that focuses on the needs of undocumented students and is also available to help individual students access information and resources. These include pro bono legal representation for DACA and undocumented students on immigration-related matters and support groups run by Counseling and Psychological Services. Students at the University whose work authorization under DACA is not renewed can also obtain additional financial assistance to replace lost earnings used for their schooling.

For more information and help, students can contact Ixchel Rosal, Associate Vice President for Student Life, at or (212) 854-5081, or Courtney Evans, Administrative Coordinator in the Office of University Life, at or (212) 854-5527. Students can also contact Counseling and Psychological Services on the Morningside campus at (212) 854-2878 and CUMC Mental Health Services at (212) 305-3400 for additional support.

For all in our community, more information about DACA and resources in and outside of Columbia is at


Professor Suzanne Goldberg
Executive Vice President for University Life
Herbert and Doris Wechsler Clinical Professor of Law

And President Beilock’s email:

Dear Members of the Barnard Community,

Today, the U.S. Attorney General announced that the administration plans to rescind the important program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). This wrong-minded decision will adversely impact hundreds of thousands of young people who deserve the opportunity to build successful lives here in the United States. It also puts at risk one of our highest priorities as a liberal arts college: helping to foster talented individuals from all backgrounds to pursue their scholarly ambitions.

In the wake of President Trump’s decision, Congress should act quickly to ensure that DACA protections continue before the program expires on March 5, 2018. We strongly support such legislation already introduced that offers many of the same protections as the DACA program. We are in contact with our Congressional delegation and will take other opportunities to make our voice heard on this issue.

Here on campus we remain committed to supporting our undocumented students. At Barnard, these students receive full financial support, which will continue. Barnard will continue to protect the privacy of all members of our campus. As a result, we will never share confidential student records except as authorized by the student or required by court order or subpoena. We will not allow federal agents or law enforcement to have access to nonpublic areas of the College without a lawfully issued judicial warrant or as required by federal regulations. We will not ask our public safety officers to assist federal immigration enforcement officials in detaining or questioning any individual solely on the basis of their immigration status.

To help support members of our community, we have identified legal counsel who can provide free advice to students, faculty and staff who have questions related to changing immigration policy, including the latest action on DACA. For students who have legal questions, please contact Wendy Garay, associate dean for international and intercultural student programs, at For faculty with questions, please get in touch with Giorgio Di Mauro, dean for international and global strategy, at Staff should get in touch with Robin Beltzer in Human Resources, at

For more information on the status of immigration enforcement and for access to relevant resources and support services, please see our Immigration Updates and Resources page:

We live in challenging times. We must ensure that all members of our community are given the opportunity to learn and thrive in an environment free of fear. Changes in national policy that adversely affect us–be it ending protections for undocumented students, degrading the rights of our transgender community, or cutting federal student aid and support for research–are assaults on our mission and must be challenged. We will work closely with students, faculty and staff in the coming days to speak out in support of our community and our institutional values.


Sian Leah Beilock

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  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous Shoutout to Undocu for advocating for these changes! <3

  • @Crawford Kilian, CC '62 Well done, Columbia.

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