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Immigration Policy: Resources & Responses

Since early 2017, executive orders enacted by the Trump administration​ have created significant volatility in U.S. immigration policy. Amid this uncertainty, Sm​i​th College remains deeply committed to protecting and supporting all members of our community. We will:

  • Provide equal access to institutional need-based financial aid and campus employment for undocumented students studying in the U.S. under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy.
  • Evaluate undocumented and DACA students under the same procedures and requirements we use for first-year or transfer admission for U.S. citizens in making admission decisions.
  • 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.
  • Continue our practice of strictly limiting the use of eVerify, the online system that cross-checks employment eligibility with the Department of Homeland Security, so that it is used only when we are legally required to do so. We will not use eVerify for routine matters, such as work-study employment.
  • Facilitate access to legal counsel for undocumented students and for international students affected by the travel ban.
  • Provide students with need-based financial support to cover the costs of meeting immigration application fees as necessary.
  • Facilitate finding year-round housing for international students, potentially on campus or through the alumnae network, if any cannot go home because of travel bans.

For more details, please see President Kathleen McCartney's letters to the community.


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 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.

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.


Letters From President Kathleen McCartney


Public Statements Signed by Smith


Resources for Students


Resources for Employeees