CCBC President shares her support for DACA students

Sep 14, 2017

The decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program has put the future of thousands of students across the country who seek the safety net of DACA in limbo. CCBC serves approximately 70 DACA students – small in comparison to the 9,000 in Maryland -- but we readily join our Maryland Higher Education colleagues in urging Congressional action to protect the hundreds of thousands across the nation who would be adversely affected by DACA’s removal.    

As a display of solidarity and support, leaders of Maryland’s higher education sectors have sent letters to state and federal legislators on behalf of DACA students (attached).  The American Council on Education (ACE), the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT), and the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) have also joined in this effort to preserve the DACA program and encourage Congress to come up with a thoughtful and compassionate solution.

For CCBC, supporting DACA students is not a political statement; it is a plea for recognition of the value of investing in young people who are working hard to earn what was promised to them by the only country they have ever really known. Given the chance, they will become nurses, teachers, cyber warriors and technicians.

As CCBC’s mission of access and opportunity is often the reason many come to study and work here, we realize there are those in our community who are disappointed by these changes. As we await Congressional action on this issue, rest assured CCBC will continue to monitor federal legislation and support all members of our college community to the greatest extent possible within the law. This includes protecting the confidentiality of student information and standing firm in compliance in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

The impact of these changes may seem difficult to decipher. While the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has indicated that it will stop accepting new DACA applications, protections for existing DACA participants will be phased out over time. Those concerned about their current or future protection status, may find this fact sheet titled What Do I Need to Know about the End of DACA may be helpful. 

For students and employees whose individual or family circumstances necessitate additional support, the college has resources in place to assist them. Please encourage them to reach out to the following for support and advice:

  • The “Safe Zone” Program, established several years ago, provides places on each campus where students can gather to discuss their concerns either individually or in small groups;
  • The Success Navigators in the Office of Community Outreach are available to facilitate outreach for emotional support for students.
  • For employees who may be concerned about relatives or friends, the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a confidential opportunity to connect with a counselor or legal services at 1-888-431-4334 or www.CignaBehavioral.com Employer ID: Baltimore.

We have all witnessed the powerful transformations people have made through their CCBC experiences. We do not wish to see Langston Hughes’ well known words, “A dream deferred is a dream denied” become prophetic.

Thank you for all you do to support our students and our mission of access, opportunity and inclusivity.