June 9, 2023

Message from President Paino about DACA Decision

To the UMW Community:

The announcement yesterday by the Department of Justice to phase out, over six months, the Executive Order that created the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program was truly disappointing.  DACA’s temporary authorization to work or to attend college for those brought to the United States as children provided many people with a legal path to school, employment, and economic and social success. While there is much we still don’t know about the details of this plan or how it will play out, the leadership of the University of Mary Washington is deeply concerned about the young people registered for this program, including a number of our own students. 

These students are members of our community, and we want them to be able to finish their education at UMW.  Mary Washington thrives because of the many voices and experiences within our community, and we are committed to providing the opportunity of a college education to all of our students.  Societies succeed best when all have access to education and talented people have opportunities to contribute.

We have reached out individually to these students on our campus to reassure them that we will do whatever we can to support them. We stand with these students and we will work with the Attorney General’s Office in Virginia to help them. We encourage Virginia’s Congressional delegation to work to enable an alternative solution to DACA with its protections of our students and their families.

Along with my senior leadership team, I will continue to monitor the situation and support our DACA students in the months to come. 

Troy D. Paino, J.D., Ph.D.