Support for International and Undocumented Students

Monday, February 13, 2017

Recent political decisions and rhetoric affecting international students and undocumented students and Dreamers have caused many of our students and other campus community members to feel unwelcome and unsafe. Mental health professional organizations have released and posted statements about these issues. These statements reflect the commitment embedded in our code of ethics to respect the rights and dignity of all people and promote social justice.

The American Psychological Association (APA) recently released a statement regarding the harm caused to refugees, immigrants, academic research and international exchange by the president’s recent executive orders. The statement begins:  “While safeguarding the nation from terrorist entry is of critical national importance, the Trump administration’s proposed restrictions on refugees and other visitors are likely to compound the stress and trauma already experienced by populations at risk for discrimination, limit scientific progress and increase stigma.”

The Oregon Psychological Association (OPA) also stated that “we welcome people of all faiths and religious backgrounds irrespective of race, ethnicity, national origin, and immigration status. Additionally, we remain committed to upholding the APA Ethical Guidelines which make clear we must advocate for and protect the civil rights of others. We are steadfast in our commitment to standing with and as people; people of all races, ethnicities, immigration statuses, religions, genders, sexual orientations, socioeconomic statuses, ages, education levels, abilities, and sizes. You are welcome here.”

The Counseling and Testing Center explicitly expresses its commitment to providing culturally competent programs and services to marginalized and underrepresented members of our university community. We understand that some of you may feel physically and/or psychologically unsafe. We want you to know that you are valued and you deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. When individuals feel unsafe or unwelcome, they sometimes doubt whether they have a right to ask for assistance, or whether asking for help might put them at risk. You deserve to have access to resources to answer your questions and to provide other types of support – please reach out to the many university offices and staff members who care about you want to help you achieve your educational and life goals.

If you are struggling with the impact of government decisions and/or public discourse that demeans your worth, value, and contribution to our campus or society, don’t hesitate to contact the Counseling Center.

Shelly Kerr, Director