In an effort to combat the rescission of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, the University of California has opened the way for students currently protected under DACA to attempt to remain on campus rather than be deported.
President Janet Napolitano released a statement via email to all UC students, cosigned by the Chancellors of each campus. In the email, Napolitano stated:
“On September 5, the Trump administration announced it would end the DACA program, effective March 5, 2018. We strongly disagree with this decision. It threatens the future of many of our nation’s brightest minds, including thousands who currently attend or have graduated from the University of California. We are working hard to protect those who could be affected.”
While the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has stopped accepting DACA applications, those currently with DACA status whose permit is set to expire between September 5, 2017 and March 8, 2018, have the ability to apply for a two year renewal of their permits. This application must be submitted by October 5 of this year.
By renewing their permits, DACA students would be allowed to remain in the United States for an additional two years to pursue their degrees without the risk of deportation, regardless of what the Trump Administration may do in the future.
Further actions to be taken by the University include providing legal services to undocumented students, sustaining the DREAM loan program (a way for DACA students to pay for college), and, according to Napolitano’s email, “Directing campus police not to contact, detain, question, or arrest individuals based on suspected undocumented status, or to enter agreements to undertake joint efforts to make arrests for federal immigration law violations.”
Currently, several states have combined efforts to combat the actions taken by the Trump Administration in the lawsuit currently underway, New York v. Trump. The entities in support of each other thus far consist of New York, Massachusetts, Washington, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Virginia. The plaintiffs argue that the rescission of DACA violates the Fifth Amendment.
With a verdict still pending by United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, students across the country with permits set to expire will soon face the risk of losing the ability to complete their degrees and to be deported from the country. For now, the only steps available to these students protected under DACA is to apply for the renewal of their permits.
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