A Message from President Keegan:
As you probably know by now, the Trump administration announced September 5 it is rescinding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. This is a deeply distressing and dispiriting action that strikes at the core of who we are–an institution that exists to serve ALL who come to our doors to better their lives through education.
The College holds a unique role in the communities we serve; we will be strong with our message and serve as a model for others. We will not waiver in our commitment to equity, nor will we waiver from fostering a culture of mutual respect and acceptance that embraces diversity and promotes a civil society. We reach out to all with open hearts and minds; in doing so, we must and will provide a respectful, safe, and supportive environment for all.
Protecting the safety, security, and well-being of DACA and Dreamer students is central to who we are. These students, like many others, have contributed to our College community, graduated, transferred to universities, found family-wage jobs, and achieved in many other ways. They are not only our students, they are our colleagues, neighbors, friends, and relatives.
As the next six months unfold, the College—within the limits of the law—will continue our current practices in serving undocumented individuals:
- The College has no legal obligation or affirmative duty to enforce federal immigration law. Accordingly, we do not provide information to others without a lawfully issued subpoena or court order.
- College security officers do not question people about their immigration status and do not detain persons because they are undocumented.
- We do not request immigration documentation except as needed to determine eligibility for resident tuition rates.
- We do not make admission decisions based on immigration status, and we do not request immigration documentation except as needed to determine eligibility for resident tuition.
- Consistent with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the College will not release protected student information without a lawfully issued subpoena or court order.
To better understand the logistics of implementing the termination of DACA, the Department of Homeland Security will apply the following policies:
- Initial request and applications will no longer be accepted for review (as of September 5th, 2017).
- If an individual currently has DACA, they can continue using their employment authorization number/social security number.
- Individuals may renew their DACA if it expires on or before March 5th, 2018. However, their renewal application must be received by October 5th, 2017.
- No further new I-131 forms/applications for travel abroad under DACA “Advance Parole (AP)” will be accepted for review (as of September 5th, 2017). If an individual received AP approval before September 5th, 2017, it will be honored. If they have a pending AP application, their application will be denied and their fees will be refunded.
- If an individual’s DACA expires after March 5th, 2018, their status will return to previous status prior to DACA.
- US Homeland security “exercise(s) its discretionary authority to terminate or deny deferred action for any reason, at any time, with or without notice.” For more information please visit: https://www.dhs.gov/news/2017/09/05/frequently-asked-questions-rescission-deferred-action-childhood-arrivals-daca
I have already received numerous inquiries about what these changes will mean to current DACA individuals. I expect those inquiries and concerns to increase as Fall Quarter begins.
I’m asking that you pay special attention to students and colleagues in need and that you reach out to help them seek appropriate ways to respond. Listed below are some resources for your consideration.
Despite the announcement, I am inspired by the words and actions of our College community. In fact, a group of SVC students lead a rally on September 5 at the Skagit County Courthouse at 7:00 p.m. I am proud of their commitment and activism.
At the state level, I signed a statement, along with the presidents of Washington’s public baccalaureate institutions and the 34 community and technical colleges regarding the Administration’s decision to rescind DACA. In the links below, you will find a copy of that letter.
I will keep you informed of College actions as the next months proceed. In the meantime, please feel free to contact me should you have further questions.
Dr. Thomas Keegan, SVC President
Information & Resources:
Joint DACA statement signed by presidents of Washington’s public baccalaureate institutions and the 34 community and technical colleges
Skagit Valley Herald front page story, September 6:
Op-Ed by Washington Governor Jay Inslee published on CNN.com, August 24:
Dave Paul, Vice-President for Student Services, serves as the College’s primary contact for immigration issues. He can be reached at 416-7738 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Skagit Valley College’s Undocumented Student Information Page offers students/faculty/staff information about resources, events, contact information, and where to find support at SVC. You can also find information on the DREAMer’s Club:
Skagit Valley College Counseling Center offers students support and guidance for students on educational, career, and personal matters:
Skagit Immigrant Rights Council offers advocacy, and community services such as legal clinics in Skagit County:
Northwest Immigrants’ Rights Project offers information and educational forums on next steps on the DACA Rescission:
National Immigration Law Center offers information and support for next steps on the DACA Rescission:
US Homeland Security “exercise(s) its discretionary authority to terminate or deny deferred action for any reason, at any time, with or without notice.” For more information, visit: https://www.dhs.gov/news/2017/09/05/frequently-asked-questions-rescission-deferred-action-childhood-arrivals-daca