As DACA nears the Supreme Court, colleges add services
- A federal appeals court last week issued a unanimous decision that the Trump administration could not immediately shut down the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, increasing the chance that the U.S. Supreme Court will take up the issue, The Washington Post reported.
- DACA recipients will be able to continue renewing their applications as the panel's ruling upholds a lower court's injunction that has allowed some 187,000 individuals to regain or extend their participation in the program, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra told The Post.
- Three circuits have issued rulings against the Trump administration's efforts to end the program, but this is the first at the appeals court level, Vox reported. The administration has again asked the Supreme Court to take up the case. If it does, a ruling could come by the end of June.
The Trump administration's efforts to end DACA have been met with strong opposition from many within higher education, with some colleges creating or expanding services to help affected students navigate uncertain futures and succeed on campus.
A number of colleges have been establishing resource centers or developing positions specifically to support undocumented students. The University of Utah, for example, launched its Dream Center to provide individualized mentoring and to increase awareness of the policies affecting DACA students, according to The Hechinger Report. Georgetown University, Harvard University and San Diego State University are among the colleges it said offers similar supports.
Likewise, the University of Maryland hired an administrative coordinator to support undocumented students after student groups demanded more resources for DACA students on campus, The Diamondback, a student-run publication, reported.
To help remove some financial barriers for DACA students, who aren't eligible for federal financial aid or in-state tuition in most states, some colleges have been ramping up their scholarship support, including the City University of New York's graduate universities and Johns Hopkins University.
However, some of these same schools, including the University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins, have recently come under fire for having contracts with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to provide its agents with education and training services. Demonstrators have protested against Northeastern University's nearly $8 million contract with ICE, and a professor at Johns Hopkins circulated an online petition to call on that university to sever its multiple contracts with the government agency.
As DACA hangs in limbo, students covered by the program have grown increasingly worried about their futures, according to a recent survey by TheDream.US, an organization that helps DACA students complete college. Yet 60% of surveyed students said losing their immigration status would leave them without enough food and 80% said they were "very anxious" about their immigration status.
To better support these students, TheDream.US recommends colleges increase financial aid for DACA students and remove "burdensome requirements" such as providing social security numbers for campus employment applications so they are open to DACA students.
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