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BGSU President's complete statement on immigration

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Published: Jan. 30, 2017 at 11:31 AM EST
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The following is the complete text from the Office of the President of Bowling Green State University:

January 30, 2017

Students, Faculty, and Staff:

Fostering a culture of inclusion is a core value of Bowling Green State University. Our University community is greatly enriched by our international students and faculty, and by students who were admitted under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

BGSU recognizes that a number of members of our University community face uncertainty about their immigration status or U.S. visas. I want to assure you that BGSU will do everything it can to support them and advocate on their behalf.

Last Friday, President Trump issued a new executive order that, among other things, temporarily bans citizens of seven countries from entering the United States. Like other universities across the country, we are still evaluating the executive order and its ramifications. We have reached out to affected students and advised them not to make plans to leave the U.S. until there is more clarity on the issue. Students, faculty or staff with questions can contact Marcia Salazar-Valentine with International Programs and Partnerships at international@bgsu.edu or at 419-372-2247. The Counseling Center is also available to provide support and resources.

BGSU will be advocating for affected students and all members of our international community with our representatives in Congress and in collaboration with Ohio's Inter-University Council, the Association of American Universities, and other higher education organizations.

As some of you may know, DACA students are individuals who immigrated to the U.S. as young children. They grew up here, but are not U.S. citizens. Last month, I joined the presidents of the member institutions of Ohio's Inter-University Council in signing a letter of support for the bi-partisan Bridge Act now before the U.S. Senate. The measure would provide university students admitted under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program with work authorization and provisional protected status from deportation. While President Trump indicated last week in an interview with ABC News that he is not interested in pursuing deportation or other actions against DACA students, we will continue to monitor the situation. Passage of the Bridge Act would ensure their legal status.

If you are interested in joining me in advocating for the adoption of the Bridge Act, you may want to take advantage of this tool created by our colleagues at Rutgers University which will generate a message of support to your representatives in Congress. I want to stress that you are under no obligation to do so. You may not agree with the proposed legislation or its intent, which is your right.

These are evolving issues and we will do our best to keep you informed moving forward. In the meantime, let's work together to make all the members of our University community feel welcome, safe and valued.

Regards,

Mary Ellen Mazey, Ph.D.

President