Yale’s Response to the DACA Announcement

September 5, 2017

To the Yale Community,

Today, the Trump Administration announced that it will rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy, a decision I and many university presidents had urged the president not to make. As we develop a clearer understanding of the implications of this decision, I know many students feel deeply concerned for themselves, their families, and their classmates. I write to let you know what Yale is doing to address these concerns here on campus and what actions I am taking on the national policy level.

For the students affected by this order, I want you to know unequivocally that Yale stands with you. You are an integral part of our community, and we remain committed to protecting your welfare and ensuring that you are able to participate fully in university life. We will continue to support you in a variety of ways as previously announced:

  • The Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS) will continue to serve as a clearinghouse for information and a resource for those with questions and concerns. The OISS website will be regularly updated as we learn more about the implications of the administration’s decision. As we did last year, Yale will make legal support available for those students with questions about their status and options, and we will ensure students who need legal representation are able to obtain it.
  • Yale will continue its well-established policy of admitting students without regard to immigration status. Moreover, our financial aid policies assure that no student will be denied an education because they are undocumented. Yale will adjust affected students’ aid packages to compensate for their inability to contribute from student earnings stemming from the loss of DACA work authorization. 
  • Under Yale Police Department (YPD) policies, citizenship status has no effect on how the department interacts with a member of the Yale community. YPD officers do not inquire about the immigration status of crime victims, witnesses, or others who seek police assistance. Further, YPD does not enforce the civil provisions of U.S. immigration law, and any law enforcement agent who wishes to enter our campus is expected to first check in with the YPD. In the interest of safety and privacy, Yale does not permit outside law enforcement officers to access our campus without a search warrant or other legal authorization. 

On the national level, I will continue to advocate for immigration policies that value the contributions of Dreamers and the many international students and scholars at Yale and other universities. Last week, I wrote to President Trump urging him to maintain DACA and to defend it in the courts. Today’s announcement that DACA will be withdrawn is deeply disappointing to me, and the administration’s decision creates a renewed urgency for Congress to enact legislation that addresses the plight of Dreamers. For many months, I have worked with our federal relations staff, legislative leaders, and higher education associations in Washington on the vexing issue of immigration reform. We will continue to press for legislation that affords permanent status to Dreamers and makes our broken immigration system fairer, more compassionate, and just. 

As the grandson of immigrants who came to the United States with dreams of a better life, I take this issue personally. We will not come together as a country if we play on fears or exploit the issue of immigration for political advantage. The hard work, creativity, and vibrancy of immigrants make this country stronger, more dynamic, and more innovative. I look forward to our work together as we build a better Yale and more inclusive nation.


Peter Salovey
President and Chris Argyris Professor of Psychology