Dr. Mitchell’s Statement on DACA Announcement

Dear JJC community,

Dr. Judy Mitchell, JJC President

As you know, President Trump announced on Sept. 5 that he is rescinding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, otherwise known as DACA. As part of this announcement, President Trump called on Congress to replace this program in the coming months with formal legislation.

DACA has provided educational and career opportunities for over 750,000 undocumented young people who were brought to the United States as minors, many of whom have no ties to the countries from which they came.

While the impacts of this decision are not fully known at this point, it is critical to reiterate that Joliet Junior College is an institution that is accessible to all, regardless of status. We are an institution whose mission is to serve and educate all members of our community. I will continue to support this mission, in addition to working with our federal legislators and other partners, with the hope that together we can find a solution to support these young people. They are truly important contributors to our campus community and to our district.

The programs we have in place to support undocumented students and so many others are comprehensive and help hundreds of students each year reach their educational goals. I would like to reiterate the wide variety of support programs we have, which I outlined in an email to you in March 2017:

  • The Office of Multicultural Student Affairs (OMSA) has a student support program called D.A.L.E. (Dreamers Advancing in Leadership and Education). With this program we conduct undocumented student workshops on how to search for scholarships, DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) workshops within the community and high schools, and presentations in collaboration with the Counseling Department on serving undocumented students. OMSA also provides tailored advising for English language learners.
  • OMSA partners with International Student Services in providing support and advocacy for international, underrepresented, immigrant students and English Language Learners. We also offer a safe space for students to congregate and learn from one another.
  • The Office of Student Activities also coordinate the Safe Zone Program where staff and students are trained to act as a referral resource for our students who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and questioning. There are trained allies throughout campus who display decals in their windows indicating that their office is a safe place for students where they will not be judged or treated differently.

This is, without question, an incredibly challenging time for our students and their families. Supporting inclusion for all will remain an institutional priority. Joliet Junior College continues to be successful today because of our deeply embedded value system and consistent belief in the spirit of collaboration to meet these challenges.

I will continue to share information as I receive it.

Respectfully,

Judy

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