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To the UC Davis Community and Especially to the DACA Students and their Families:

On Indigenous People’s Day, we write to join the many voices that have been raised in protest of the decision of the Trump administration to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Racism and xenophobia are at the core of this decision and it affects many Indigenous students and fellow employees on our campus. We reject this aggression and pledge our commitment and support to those affected.

As other units in Hart Hall have done, we renew our commitment to work with the AB540 and Undocumented Student Center. We stand behind all of AB540 and undocumented students, offering them a supportive community in our department and in the Native American Academic Student Success Center.

Our program is hemispheric, serving students from all over the Americas and promoting the study of their histories and contemporary realities underlining that artificial national boundaries and genocidal policies have historically devastated indigenous peoples. In addition to our hemispheric focus, we collaborate with Indigenous communities and nations around the globe, and our courses serve students from throughout the world. We strongly affirm our support for undocumented students from Asian, African, Pacific Islander and other communities.

We are pleased that we work in a sanctuary city and a sanctuary state, that the UC administration quickly reiterated its commitment to the “Principles Against Intolerance” [1] and that the UC Regents followed with a statement along these lines [2]. As our colleagues in Asian American Studies have also stated, we condemn the persecution of people because of their race, religion, nationality, class, gender, sexuality, and political beliefs. Like our colleagues in Chicana/o Studies, we urge everyone on our campus and beyond to stand with moral courage and consciousness to protect all those who are unjustly targeted for removal, repression, and criminalization.

In observance of Indigenous Peoples Day, and with the highest respect to the Native American Nations of the United States, we state that DACA and undocumented students will always have a welcoming and supportive home in Native American Studies.

Zoila Mendoza, Professor and Chair of Native American Studies
Ines Hernandez-Avila, Professor
Hulleah Tsinhnahjinnie, Professor
Liza Grandia, Associate Professor
Beth Rose Middleton, Associate Professor
Jessica Perea, Assistant Professor
Justin Spence, Assistant Professor
Michelle Villegas-Frazier, Director, Native American Academic Student Success Center
Melinda Crow, Student Affairs Officer
Stella Mancillas, Graduate and Undergraduate Program Coordinator

You can download and read the original letter here.