Letter in support of DACA and Latinx students

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September 6, 2017 

Dear Students and Colleagues,

In recent days, we have seen actions that affect yet connect us as a community at UMD and across the nation. In light of these actions, we are committed to supporting our students and the campus community at large. 

On Tuesday, September 5, 2017, the Trump administration announced that it would rescind Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which provides 800,000 young immigrants across the United States with temporary, renewable authorization to live, study, and work "legally" in the United States. To qualify for DACA, applicants must first meet rigorous criteria; among them, they must have arrived in the United States before the age of 16, have lived continuously in the country since June 2007, not have a criminal record, and be enrolled in school or have completed school or military service. The program was and is not an amnesty program, but created a window of hope for many in the U.S. and at UMD. Currently at UMD, there are 80-100 DACA and MD-DREAM Act recipients. In SPAP, we serve an important group of Spanish-Heritage Language Learners, who may or may not be DACAmented but whose communities are impacted by this action and who experience marginalization on a regular basis. 

Equally important, after the recent Mock Trial incident at UMD, in which three Latinx students were profiled and identified by their professor as "mediocre" and "pretty bad," we say that such views have no place in our Department, School, and University. We value, respect, and support all our students with all their differences. We are here to assist you at all times.

We, in SPAP and the School of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, express our solidarity with the DACA recipients, Heritage Language communities, and their families and friends. We stand with you and will support you through these trying times because we will #DefendDACA and we are #HereToStay. 

In solidarity,


Department of Spanish and Portuguese

School of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures

University of Maryland, College Park