Statement from Chancellor William H. McRaven on DACA

With today’s announcement by the Administration regarding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, I want to take a moment to share some thoughts.

Our state and nation have benefited for decades by attracting and retaining great students, scholars, physicians, and researchers from around the world. As I have said before, the men and women who show up on our shores and at our doors – ready to study, work, and participate – make us stronger, smarter, more competitive, and more attuned to the rest of our ever-shrinking globe. Over time, we have seen that their contributions and discoveries help us secure our nation, care for our people, foster economic growth, and provide scientific expertise and innovation that improves the human condition.

For years, Texas has supported students who were born in foreign countries but were brought here as children and raised in the U.S. In fact, Texas was among the first states to grant these Texas high school graduates the opportunity to pay in-state tuition, a benefit The University of Texas System continues to support.

These students consider themselves to be Americans and Texans, proud of the state they see as their home. They, like others, have served our nation with distinction in their academic pursuits, in our nation’s military, and as productive members of society. This service should be applauded and honored. Our nation should recognize the potential in these students, granting them the opportunity to pursue their education and enter the workforce in this country.

The UT System will always follow the law. And while I understand the concern of the President and others about how DACA was implemented, the critical fact is that I and the UT System believe in our DACA students and that their opportunities to contribute to Texas and our nation should be upheld and continued by our leaders in Washington. Congress must now act quickly to provide a bridge for these students to remain in the U.S. and become citizens.

Let me also speak directly to you, our UT DACA students. You can be certain of our support as you continue to pursue your dreams – the American dream – to obtain an education and build a better future for you and your families. As UT adheres to federal and state laws regarding immigration, rest assured our campuses will remain places where you can safely study as Congress takes up this issue.

The international competition for the best students, scholars, physicians and researchers is fierce. We need loud and clear signals that the U.S. and Texas will continue to seek out the foremost talents in the world and welcome them to our institutions. For its part, the UT System will always pursue young men and women from around the world who wish to learn, and the scholars and researchers who will train and educate them.

About The University of Texas System
Educating students, providing care for patients, conducting groundbreaking basic, applied and clinical research, and serving the needs of Texans and the nation for more than 130 years, The University of Texas System is one of the largest public university systems in the United States. With 14 institutions and an enrollment of more than 234,000 students, the UT System confers more than one-third of the state’s undergraduate degrees, educates approximately two-thirds of the state’s health care professionals annually and accounts for almost 70 percent of all research funds awarded to public institutions in Texas. The UT System’s operating budget for FY 2018 is $18.3 billion, including $3.6 billion in sponsored programs funded by federal, state, local and private sources. With more than 20,000 faculty – including Nobel laureates and many members of the National Academies – and nearly 80,000 health care professionals, researchers, student advisors and support staff, the UT System is one of the largest employers in the state.

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Karen Adler: kadler@utsystem.edu  • 512-499-4360 (direct) • 210-912-8055 (cell)
Melanie Thompson: mthompson@utsystem.edu • 512-499-4487 (direct) • 832-724-1024 (cell)