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The Blue & Gray Press | August 19, 2019

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Staff-Ed: UMW administration stands with its students

Staff-Ed: UMW administration stands with its students


The previous academic year at the University of Mary Washington was filled with discussions, debates, the presidential election and national discord felt even at the community level. The year also brought about many changes at the campus level with the first year and inauguration of our university’s president, Troy Paino. In the conservative area of Spotsylvania County, just an hour away from Washington D.C., our community felt the reverberations of the partisan political tension.

UMW’s administration made a conscious effort last year to make UMW a welcoming place for students. Last spring, various  administrators devoted their time to creating an open line of communication between UMW students and UMW United to unite the community during a tumultuous time.

This year, faculty and staff have been hit by disheartening news. On Tuesday, the Department of Justice decided to phase out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program over the next six months. The program provided benefits for undocumented young people who came to the U.S. as children and several UMW students are registered in the program. An email sent out by Marty Morrison, featured President Paino’s sentiment regarding the issue. President Paino asserted his commitment to the students of UMW to find a way for everyone to finish out 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,” wrote Paino. “Societies succeed best when all have access to education and talented people have opportunities to contribute.”

Paino wrote in the email that the administration has reached out to the students in the program individually to reassure them that the UMW administration is standing with them. Administration has also promised that they will work with the Attorney General’s Office in Virginia to help the affected students.

It is our responsibility as students and American citizens to make our voices heard. Please reach out to your local senator or the UMW administration.


  1. Anonymous

    I get it, it’s sad. It’s not fair to the children who were raised in the US that their parents decided to break the law to enter the country, have been living here illegally their entire lives, and are just now facing retribution. Ideally the entry process into the US would be quicker for families in need and people who broke the law to enter the country would have been deported before acclimating, but that’s not how it worked thanks to nonstop resistance from the left.

    Now there are people who should not have been here in the first place who have lived in this place their entire lives. It’s wrong to blame children for the crimes of their parents, but it’s also wrong to pretend as though these people have been living here legally. What’s the point in having borders if those border laws are never enforced?

    I fully support providing an easier method of becoming a US citizens for children of illegal immigrants, but illegal immigrants themselves really shouldn’t be treated as though they somehow deserve more time and effort than the actual honest people who have been waiting for months, if not years, to enter the country legally. People who don’t show a fundamental respect for our laws right off the bat aren’t the type of people we want here.