Dear Colleagues and RTC students,
The College and I are profoundly disappointed with the Trump Administration’s decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that was established in 2012. Because of the lack of Congressional action, the Obama administration created DACA to temporarily shield undocumented individuals from deportation who came to the United States before age 16 and met other requirements, as well as allowing work authorizations and other benefits. According to today’s announcement, the administration will wind down the program over the next six months. Students at RTC and in Washington’s other institutions of higher education are among the 800,000 recipients across the nation affected by this decision. As the details of this process—and efforts to counter it—become clear for students and staff in the days ahead, I will keep people posted with as much factual detail as possible.
RTC, like other technical and community colleges across the nation, has a mission to be an open-access institution and empower all students to achieve their goals. Terminating DACA undermines those objectives. I am especially troubled by this decision because it strikes at the values we hold dear at RTC. We experience strength through our diversity and we strive to be an ever-more-inclusive community in which all people are valued. Our students, no matter their immigration status, all are invaluable to teaching and learning at RTC, the vibrancy of our community, and the health of our economy.
My fellow community and technical college presidents in Washington wrote President-Elect Trump in December requesting that he preserve DACA. Today we again wrote to President Trump to register our deep disappointment, yet also our unequivocal resolve to stand up for our students. We will work to urge Congress to pass legislation that allows these students to continue to contribute to our communities.
Kevin D. McCarthy,Ph.D.