As we began the new semester, those of us with a sense of optimism for the academic year ahead may have had that feeling quickly stifled after reading the recent news about the Trump administration’s decision to abruptly end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). We recognize this decision as part and parcel of previous undoubtedly discriminatory executive decisions, such as banning any travel of individuals from predominantly Muslim countries[1], diminishing the already insufficient protections for transgender individuals[2], refusing to take a stance against white supremacy, hate-speech and home-grown far-right nationalist terrorism that left one dead and countless others injured[3]. We further recognize this recent decision as a reversion to prior longstanding American immigration policies that are often dehumanizing and have been in need of reform long before Trump took office[4].

The executive order diametrically opposes CUNY’s historic mission, which the Doctoral Students’ Council proudly shares, of providing access to higher education to low-income communities and communities of color in New York City and the nation. While we are glad that President Robinson shared two statements reaffirming CUNY’s commitment to DACA recipients yesterday, the statements did not offer concrete steps and resources that the Graduate Center is prepared to take and offer to best support those in our communities who are feeling most vulnerable in this moment.

If you or someone you know is affected by the decision to rescind DACA, here are some resources at your fingertips:

  1. Those with questions about DACA status should contact Citizenship Now! at Citizenship Now! will be scheduling appointments next week to help with DACA renewals.
  2. All students (not just from CUNY) needing assistance with DACA renewal can contact Jasinta De La Cruz, Esq. (646) 344-7245, She is providing renewals free of charge until 11:59 PM on October 4th..
  3. If you need support in light of this decision in any way, or know someone who does , please reach out to the DSC ( or the DSC’s Co-Chair for Student Affairs ( We can advocate on your behalf with the GC administration. You may also directly contact the Vice President for Student Affairs Matthew Schoengood ( , and let him know about your situation.
  4. This document, from the Meyer Law Office, compiles information on the rights of DACA recipients and also contains an imbedded Know Your Rights document.
  5. A resource on five things to know about the announcement to end DACA, which would be useful to share with anyone you know affected by this decision:

The DSC Steering Committee is also looking forward to working with the Office of International Students to support those students who soon may find themselves in a precarious situation. DSC officers are preparing to hold workshops and events so stay tuned by joining our listserv (email to sign up) and following us on Facebook. If you have ideas or workshops you’d like to organize, please contact us at And as always, we invite students to use DSC resources like free reservable rooms for meetings and events, free legal consultations (email, DSC grants for events, access to media for spreading your message through the student newspaper or a student-controlled open-access platform, a labor-solidarity group for adjuncts, and various chartered organizations. The DSC has resources that you can use to organize for justice and build solidarity and community. You’ve helped create and fund these resources, so please reach out and let us know how we can help.




[1] Shear, M. D., & Cooper, H. (2017, January 27). Trump Bars Refugees and Citizens of 7 Muslim Countries. New York Times. Retrieved online September 7, 2017, from

[2] Diamond, J. (2017, August 25) Trump Signs Directive Banning Transgender Military Recruits. CNN. Retrieved online September 7, 2017, from

[3] Shear, M. D., & Haberman, M. (2017, August 15). Trump Defends Initial Remarks on Charlottesville; Again Blames ‘Both Sides’. New York Times. Retrieved online September 7, 2017, from

[4] Cohn, D. (2015, September 30). How U.S. immigration laws and rules have changed through history. Pew Research Center. Retrieved online September 7, 2017, form