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University of Texas at San Antonio Opens On Campus DACA Center

This university provides more for its Dreamers.

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The Trump Administration announced the end of DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) last year, the program that allows children who came to the U.S. as undocumented immigrants, to remain in the country legally.

Like other university leaders, Taylor Eighmy, president of the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) released an official statement declaring the school’s commitment to protecting their students’ privacy, rights and chance at a quality education.

Eighmy declared the importance of appreciating all perspectives, valuing diversity and recognizing each Dreamer’s commitment to earning an education.

“We have Dreamers on our campus. Their presence here is a testament to their fortitude, resilience and their own specific contributions to our familia.”

But unlike other University leaders, Eighmy has acted on his words.

UTSA launched their Dreamers Resource Center website last October to help support the growing needs of its DACA and other undocumented students. The website includes information on finding offices and officials who can assist with questions regarding residency, financial aid and scholarships, counseling, admissions and more.

This week, UTSA went a step further, officially opening a Dreamers Center as physical counterpart to the website. Originally planned to open in early February, Eighmy decided to accelerate the center’s launch in order to provide faster service to the UTSA community.

Officials plan to have the center partner with a local nonprofit, The Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services to provide referrals, educational programming, and peer mentoring. The university’s faculty and staff will also collaborate to create a campus-wide referral network for Dreamers.

Most Texas universities — besides  Texas Tech University — do not currently provide anything beyond online resources for Dreamers and allies. UTSA has taken a more aggressive approach.

“We must do everything we can to ensure they have the right resources and information in the months to come.”

With the operation of the Federal Government seemingly hinging on a DACA decision, UTSA may be setting a groundbreaking example in higher education.

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Dani Matias is a student at the University of Texas. She is working toward a Bachelor's degree in Journalism with a minor in Spanish. She is an active member of Kappa Phi Gamma Sorority, Inc., NABJ and NAHJ.

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