UNLV President: ‘Nothing will change’ support of DACA

By Blaze Lovell | September 5, 2017

UNLV President Len Jessup announced in a community letter Tuesday morning that the university will hold firm in its support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).


Jessup’s letter coincides with the Trump administration’s official announcement that the DACA program will be phased out over the next six months. President Donald Trump has given Congress until March 5, 2018 to decide the fate of nearly 800,000 undocumented child immigrants, according to a CNN report.


“Even with today’s announcement, we will continue to champion the importance of education and the success of all our students,” Jessup wrote in the letter. “Citizenship is not a prerequisite for admission at UNLV, and our doors remain open to all students who seek education and the opportunities it provides.”

UNLV President Len Jessup reaffirmed UNLV’s support of DACA in a letter sent to the campus community Tuesday. Courtesy photo.


Trump has said that the U.S. “will resolve the DACA issue with heart and compassion,” CNN reports.


The lighter tone Trump adopted Tuesday is in stark contrast to the rhetoric highlighted in newsreels from the campaign trail and presidential debates in which Trump suggested that some immigrants may be rapists and murderers, and at the final debate hosted by UNLV, he called them “bad hombres.”


Late last year, Jessup signed a letter in support of DACA along with 600 other university presidents.


With over 170,000 undocumented immigrants living in Las Vegas, according to a Pew Research Center report, immigration has been a divisive issue in the city as well as at UNLV.


In December, math instructor George Buch faced backlash from the student body after suggesting via Facebook that he would turn over any of his undocumented students to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement.


Around the time that Buch made those comments, students sent a petition to Jessup, asking that UNLV become a sanctuary campus for undocumented immigrants. Another petition was sent in opposition to having UNLV labeled as such.


Jessup said that he met with groups on both sides of the issue but has not made an official announcement on UNLV’s status as a sanctuary campus.


Besides advocating for the rights of immigrants at UNLV, the university has compiled several resources, including a legal resources website, to help undocumented immigrants. UNLV even has several student groups that support immigrants, including UndocuNetwork “whose mission is to support and empower undocumented students at UNLV,” according to their Facebook page.


“As I have said before, inclusiveness is at the core of a different, daring, and diverse UNLV,” Jessup wrote. “Nothing will change that stance.”

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