In Support of Columbia’s Statement on DACA Students

September 12, 2017 @ 4:00 pm

Dear Columbia School of Social Work Community:

Last week, Herbert and Doris Wechsler Clinical Professor of Law Suzanne Goldberg, acting in her capacity as Columbia’s executive vice president for university life, issued a statement reaffirming the University’s commitment to supporting students in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

With her permission, we are re-posting her statement below. I urge you to read it if you have not already. The Columbia School of Social Work community is prepared to do everything in its power to uphold this commitment.

—Irwin Garfinkel, Interim Dean, School of Social Work

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

Photo credit: Protest against announced repeal of DACA, by Harrie van Veen via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).