Thoughts from the Dean

Deferred Action for Childhood (DACA) Program

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September 6, 2017
Deferred Action for Childhood (DACA) Program

Dear Members of the HMS Community:

The Trump Administration has announced it intends to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in six months. I, like many others throughout our community, am deeply concerned by this decision.
HMS encompasses a diversity of viewpoints, including various perspectives on immigration. However, this decision puts into limbo the lives of 800,000 young people who came to this country as minors, along with their families, friends and colleagues. The repercussions echo across our school and the broader Harvard and Boston communities.
I join President Faust and other deans across the University in strongly denouncing this action, which challenges our values as a nation. We know that members of our community would be affected. Threats of deportation for those who have grown up in the U.S., and who strive to make a better life for themselves and others, are cruel and unjust. Revoking the immigration status of those students and trainees who one day hope to practice medicine or science—thereby improving our world—does a grave disservice to our community and to our nation. As President Faust wrote in a letter to President Trump:
“We will benefit far more by permitting these students to put their skills to their highest use rather than by repealing DACA and forcing them to return to the shadows of our society.”
We are working with the University to assess the impact of this announcement on the HMS community, and we will pursue every form of appeal to maintain protections for those affected, both political and legal. To those who are directly affected by the potential repeal of DACA, please know that we fully support you.
If you are affected by this decision, or know others who are, there are resources available, including the Undocumented at Harvard website, which provides links to legal information and other assistance. Medical students may also reach out to the HMS Office of Student Affairs, PhD students to the GSAS Office of Student Affairs or the HMS Division of Medical Sciences, and master’s students to the HMS Office of Graduate Education. Staff or faculty members may contact the Harvard Employee Assistance Program, which offers immediate, free and confidential help. 
Please join me in supporting these members of our community, and feel free to share your thoughts with me on this vital issue.
George Q. Daley
Dean, Harvard Medical School