A Message About Immigration


February 14, 2017


Dear members of the Bowdoin community,

President Rose and Dean Foster have asked that I serve as the point person at Bowdoin for student issues related to immigration. They asked that I write to provide information about our approach in light of President Rose’s commitment that Bowdoin will stand firmly with and provide support for those here who may be affected. 

It is unclear whether last week’s widely reported enforcement actions by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents represent an escalation in deportations by the new administration or whether they are a continuation of past policies (for example, in 2012 alone, nearly 410,000 undocumented immigrants were deported). But there is no doubt that there is currently a heightened state of anxiety for vulnerable communities, families, and individuals—including for members of our own community here at Bowdoin.

I want you to know that we are keeping a close eye on national developments, that we are in contact with those affected, and that we continue to provide appropriate support, including legal resources. In addition to coordinating a talk with two attorneys from Ford/Murray Law last week, the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs arranged for private consultations with individual students to answer their specific questions. Staff in human resources and the Office of the Dean for Academic Affairs are similarly reaching out to staff and faculty who may be affected by recent events, including the Executive Order targeting seven Muslim-majority nations.

It is a priority for the College that student information is handled with the utmost confidentiality and care. I encourage anyone who is concerned about or may be affected by recent or potential events to reach out to me directly (207-725-3048 or lamaez@bowdoin.edu). I will also serve as the primary contact for students with concerns about their visa or international travel while Khoa Kuong is away on paternity leave.

As President Rose noted in his message to the community a couple of weeks ago, there is much uncertainty about how the new administration will govern around issues of immigration. But there should be nothing uncertain about our values of diversity and inclusion, our commitment to maintaining a safe environment for all members of our community, and our compassion for one another. It is important that all students, staff, and faculty understand they are valued members of our community and that they have our full support.

Best,

Leana E. Amáez

Associate Dean of Students for Diversity and Inclusion