On September 5, President Trump announced the decision to rescind and phase out DACA — the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program instituted under the previous administration — in six months (effective March 5, 2018).
This decision raises large concerns for undocumented students around the nation who are now unsure if they will be able to continue to study and work in the U.S., where they have lived since childhood, with the protected status they had as DACA recipients.
If you are the parent, family member or supporter of a DACA college student, or of a student who was intending to apply for DACA status, we encourage you to be in close communication with your student’s school.
Most colleges and universities have issued strong statements affirming their ongoing support for the DACA students on their campuses. Many schools are making campus legal resources available to DACA students seeking help with their situation.
School administrators are there for you as well.
Here are the departments on campus you can contact if you have questions:
- Dean of Students
- Parent and Family Program
- Offices of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion
- Student Legal Services
- Undocumented Student Resources
Some helpful things to know:
- Students whose DACA permits expire between now and March 5, 2018 can apply for a two-year renewal before October 5, 2017.
- Without a lawful subpoena or judicial order, colleges cannot and will not share student records or immigration status with any person or agency against the student’s wishes. A federal law called FERPA (the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) protects the privacy of your student’s records.
- In most cases, campus police will not inquire about the legal status of any student or take part in actions with ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement).
- For high school students applying to college this year, most institutions are expressing continued commitment to reviewing applications without regard for the student’s immigration status.
- Congress may act before the 3/5/18 deadline to pass a law regarding the status of current (and prospective) DACA recipients.
President Trump has instructed Homeland Security that DACA students are not “enforcement priorities,” but this is still a very unsettling and stressful time for DACA students. The website United We Dream created a Deportation Defense Card that your student can print or download onto a smartphone that explains their legal rights in case they are approached by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. Here is the card in five languages (English, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese and Korean):
We will update the information in this article as needed.