DACA Announcement

September 5, 2017

Members of the RBHS Community:

In the past year, we have had a number of occasions where University leadership has felt it imperative to declare our values as a community of educators, students, and health care professionals. We have stridently declared our support for the most vulnerable members of our society, celebrated the benefits of a diverse and inclusive environment, and sharply criticized those who violently threaten the pluralistic underpinnings of our democratic society. This morning in response to the Trump Administration’s announcement concerned the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, President Barchi and the four Chancellors circulated a new email expressing our continued support for DACA, our students who may be impacted by this program, and a call for Congress to act to continue this program. President Barchi reiterated key actions the University is taking to support members of our community, including:

  • Protection of the privacy of all our students and their records
  • Advocacy for the continuation of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy
  • Ongoing support for legislation, such as the BRIDGE Act, to preserve DACA protections currently in effect

At RBHS, we are dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of all our fellow New Jersey residents. We provide health care for many undocumented people and their families across New Jersey and know many students, patients, and their families impacted by DACA. We understand the negative impact on access to health care services caused by uncertain residency status.

As the situation in Washington, DC unfolds, we can take immediate action and join with President Barchi in calling upon our representatives to enact a permanent legislative solution (see Rutgers Advocacy link).

In addition, we continue to support our students through our student affairs deans and their staff at each of the RBHS schools, and through the following resources:

To further support immigrant students, the University has also created the Rutgers Immigrant Community Assistance Project (RICAP). RICAP is led by attorney, Jason Hernandez, who has more than five years of experience working in a refugee resettlement and immigration legal service non-profit organization in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. All students currently enrolled at Rutgers are eligible for a free and confidential legal consultation with Jason. Jason will be on the Camden Campus on Tuesday (9/5), in Newark on Wednesday (9/6), and in New Brunswick on Thursday (9/7). A meeting on the RBHS Newark Campus is also being scheduled. Students are encouraged to stop by and meet Jason on each of these days to ask any brief questions about DACA and to schedule their individual consultations. In Camden, Jason can be found at the Law School in room E209. In Newark, Jason has an office in the clinical suite of the Law School. And in New Brunswick, Jason will be at the Center for Latino Arts and Culture. Jason's phone number is 856-225-2302. He also can be reached by email at jason.c.hernandez@rutgers.edu. More information will be forthcoming from RICAP.

We will provide you with updates as the administration’s actions in Washington proceed. Thank you for your continued commitment to our students, patients, and communities.

Sincerely,

Brian L. Strom, MD, MPH

Chancellor, Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences
Executive Vice President for Health Affairs