Supreme Court ruling puts higher ed immigration strategy in focus
- The Supreme Court’s deadlocked decision on immigration upholds a Texas decision to limit protections for undocumented children brought to the United States by their parents, such as longer terms for post-graduate visas and conditional work provisions.
- Several states with heavy investments in admission initiatives for undocumented citizens may have to revisit their plans, following the ruling.
- States like Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi are likely to be among early challengers to more than 700,000 undocumented citizens approved for protection under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
The Obama Administration has called the Supreme Court’s immigration decision a ‘heartbreaking’ blow to the United States’ economic and cultural opportunities, but the larger blow will be to states and colleges already invested in some of these admissions programs for undocumented students.
Last month, Delaware State University and Eastern Connecticut State University became two of the nation’s first DREAM partner schools to extend admission and scholarship access to undocumented citizens. In California, millions of scholarship dollars reserved for undocumented students are going unclaimed because of a lack of communication about the program and fears paperwork may spur deportation.
Colleges and universities will need to work closely with state legislators to uncover the financial and political ramifications of some of these public earmarks, as well as identify private opportunities that can be redirected if the federal programs are put on hold or dismantled.