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Celebrating This Morning’s Supreme Court Ruling, June 18, 2020

Dear students, staff and faculty,

This morning, the U.S. Supreme Court blocked President Trump’s attempt to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. This decision underscores our core belief that all students deserve the right to pursue their education in safety and without interruption. The decision is welcome news for colleges, like Smith, that are dedicated to ensuring access and opportunity through education. Our learning communities—and our country—are made stronger by diverse voices. Today’s ruling strengthens our entire nation.

Smith’s commitment to our population of documented and undocumented students, faculty and staff remains steadfast. We will continue to take no voluntary action that would put members of our community at risk because of their citizenship or immigration status, and we will maintain access to legal counsel for undocumented students.

As we celebrate this moment, let it also be a reminder of how fragile this decision is: the fate of nearly 800,000 students rested on a single vote. We cannot leave it to the courts to do the important work of equity and inclusion. This moment is a call to all of us to uphold every individual’s rights and dignity, to care for one another and to come together in collective action.

For decades, the United States Congress has tried and failed to pass protections for “Dreamers,” despite widespread support for DACA among the American people. This is the moment to press our elected officials of both parties to overcome bipartisan divides and pass meaningful, durable protections for DACA recipients. I plan to share this letter with Massachusetts senators Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey and will continue to proudly work with the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration on this and other issues facing our community. I hope you will join me in bringing our voices to Washington by voting this November and through continued activism.


Kathleen McCartney