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Immigration Policy FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What actions will Smith take to protect its community when DACA expires?
Regardless of the status of the DACA program, Smith remains deeply committed to protecting and supporting all members of our community. We stand by our commitments to

  • Take no voluntary action that would put members of our community at risk because of their citizenship or immigration status.
  • Resist releasing information about students’ citizenship or immigration status unless we are legally compelled to do so; if presented with a subpoena or other imperative, we will seek legal counsel before taking any steps to comply.

Q: If a student is detained by immigration authorities, who at Smith should she contact?
Contact Dean of Students Julianne Ohotnicky (413-585-4940) and she will work with Associate Dean for International Students Caitlin Szymkowicz to get the student connected to an immigration attorney for support. To reach Dean Ohotnicky after hours or on weekends, contact campus safety at 413-585-2490.

Q: If work-study is no longer available for these students, what employment options will Smith provide in its place?
Smith already has in place funding for on-campus work above what the federal government provides. If DACA is rescinded, we would continue to meet our commitment to provide on-campus work opportunities.

Q: Has Smith ever accepted an undocumented applicant that doesn’t have DACA?
In the admission process, we don’t know whether an undocumented student has DACA status or not. If we happened to learn that an undocumented student did not have DACA status, we would still admit her if she were a competitive applicant.

Q: What obstacles are standing in Smith’s way to accept undocumented (without DACA) applicants?
None. All undocumented students, whether DACA or not, follow the procedures and requirements for first-year or transfer admission. They are evaluated in the same way as U.S. citizens and U.S. permanent residents. Undocumented students may apply under any admission plan, including Early Decision. More information is available here.

Q: Is Smith taking action to advertise these policies to incoming students, staff and faculty?
Yes. The Office of Admission sent an announcement about our policy to 5,000 high schools, community colleges, and 450 community-based organizations. We encouraged the counselors to suggest Smith to their undocumented students.

In addition, President McCartney is advocating outside of Smith. We signed the American Council on Education letter to Congress as well as an amicus (friend of the court) brief in a suit brought by the University of California against the Department of Homeland Security. President McCartney’s statement is specifically cited in the amicus brief. Smith is also a signatory on an amicus brief in a suit brought by Princeton University and others against the Department of Homeland Security, and an amicus brief supporting a legal challenge to recent immigration policy changes regarding the calculation of “unlawful presence” for holders of F, J, or M visas.

In addition, a proposal to train Smith students to act as Dreamer Supporters was recently awarded a grant through the president's Innovation Challenge program. The School for Social Work, the student Organization for Undocumented Students Rights and the college’s Center for Religious and Spiritual Life will train as many as 25 Smith students, who will then serve as resources for offices at Smith and at area colleges.