Donald Trump’s recent rollbacks on Barack Obama’s DACA programs have left so many people in the United States not only shocked and angry, but also scared and afraid. A large number of people have so much to lose if DACA is repealed and one of the most at-risk groups is made up of undocumented college students. Those seeking higher education may not only end up losing their eligibility in earning a degree and working, they may also be forced to go back to countries that they’ve never been, away from family, friends and the lives they’ve created.
How can you help?
Teen Vogue and HuffPost are giving their readers different resources when it comes to standing up for undocumented students and making sure that their voices are heard. One of the most direct methods of communication is this simple Dream Act Toolkit, which lists each state’s associated Senator and Representative, their party affiliation and their contact info. You can reach out to your state’s most pivotal lawmakers in the hopes of a swing vote to secure DACA’s status.
One of the greatest ways to take action is to be informed. Here is some of the helpful info for those hoping to make a difference or for those who are unsure of their rights.
What is DACA?
DACA is a federal program that was created by Barack Obama in the year 2012. DACA was established to temporarily protect the children of undocumented immigrants in the hopes of giving them the right to live, work and study in the United States without the fear or risk of deportation. The program operates on an application-based system, vetting interested candidates and requiring that they are either students or military personnel. Successful DACA recipients are given the opportunity to defer deportation for two years and after that period they are allowed to renew their status. During their period of protection, they can get a driver’s license, enroll in college and obtain a work permit.
Who are the DREAMers?
“Dreamers” are those who are granted protection under DACA. They are the children of undocumented immigrants, brought here during their childhood/younger years under the age of 16. There are nearly 800,000 of them ranging in age from 15 years old to 36 years old. They are under 31 as of June 15, 2012, when DACA was established and many are from Mexico, Guatemala and other South American countries. No new applicants will be protected by Daca, giving them the inability to work or go to school. Those protected will face expirations in March 2018, leaving them unable to reapply. All Dreamers will all lose their status by March 2020, meaning that many of them could face deportation to countries with which they are barely familiar.
Resources for Undocumented College Students
For even more info on helpful resources, check out Best Colleges.
BigFuture provides a guide created by The College Board for any undocumented students with questions and concerns.
The Department of Education’s federal student financial aid website has some helpful answers for anyone with inquiries about their affected status.
United We Dream created DEEP, the Dream Educational Empowerment Program, which helps encourage community engagement in creating continued opportunities for Dreamers.
CitizenPath’s DACA Resource Center breaks down the complications of the legal forms associated with applications and gives a reader-friendly view of the process.
UC Berkley also has an updated, accessible guide to legal rights for undocumented students and immigrants.
The following college campuses are self-identified sanctuary campuses, each with their own support of undocumented students and Dreamers. The first to express their support of DACA were Portland State and Reed College.
Portland State University has said that it “will not facilitate or consent … unless legally compelled to do so or in the event of clear exigent circumstances” in regards to enforcing the status of its students.
Reed College also “will not assist” without a “direct court order” and has established a nondiscrimination policy with scholarships equivalent to its financial aid.
Wesleyan College provides legal support for its students and “will not voluntarily assist” in anyone’s deportation.
Pitzer College “will not voluntarily comply” with the discriminatory policies and is continuing its work nondiscrimination legislation, legal support and financial aid.
Santa Fe Community College will not provide ICE with “access” to its campus “except in emergency or with a warrant.”
University of Pennsylvania requires a warrant for any deportation or surrender and will make sure that students don’t face discrimination with “legal support and financial aid.”
Connecticut College has said that “the College can and will use all available means to defend our undocumented students now and in the future.”
Drake University President Marty Martin expressed support of DACA and Dreamers on December 1, 2016.
Swarthmore College “will not voluntarily grant access” to agents of ICE and “will not support” discriminatory legislation, pushing back with “nondiscrimination” policies “in housing and financial aid.”
Countless other schools have sent their own appeals to Trump asking for DACA’s continued use, many expressing their determination to keep their students safe and move forward with Dreamer-friendly processes.
If there are other helpful resources, necessary info, or amendments to add to or improve this list, please let us know with a comment or social media message.