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Immigration Law

University Heads Decry DACA Ruling, Urge Congress to Protect Dreamers

Presidents' Alliance, July 16, 2021

"COALITION OF OVER 500 PRESIDENTS AND CHANCELLORS URGE CONGRESS TO ACT IMMEDIATELY TO PROTECT DREAMERS IN LIGHT OF TEXAS DECISION PARTIALLY SUSPENDING DACA
Decision reinforces need for Congress to act immediately

July 16, 2021

Washington, D.C.— Today, a Texas Federal District Court in the 5th Circuit issued its long-awaited ruling in the litigation challenging the legality of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The court ruled that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security violated the Administrative Procedure Act through the establishment and continued administration of DACA. The court held that the Biden administration may: (a) continue to accept and approve DACA renewals; and (b) accept but not approve initial DACA requests, freezing pending and future requests for initial DACA.

Presidents and Chancellors will continue to stand with undocumented students, DACA recipients, and other Dreamers on their campuses and in their communities. We recognize the tremendous contributions of these immigrant students and alumni. After so many years in limbo, these Dreamers deserve a roadmap to citizenship and permanent status. The Presidents’ Alliance calls upon Congress to act in a bipartisan manner to provide a roadmap to citizenship for Dreamers. If Congress cannot move forward in a bipartisan manner, then we call on Congress to enact a roadmap to citizenship through all available mechanisms–including budget reconciliation. 

Jose Magaña-Salgado, DACA Recipient and Director of Policy and Communications for the Presidents’ Alliance, stated: “As an individual with DACA for nearly a decade, I respond with mixed-feelings to today’s decision. While I am heartened that the court will permit the administration to continue to accept renewal applications, I am saddened by the court’s decision that prevents the approval of initial applications–both previously filed and those filed in the future. Today’s decision demonstrates, once again, that DACA remains on the knife’s edge and that Congress must act swiftly to provide a permanent roadmap to citizenship for undocumented youth and students. This includes over 181k DACA-eligible students enrolled in higher education. For students in higher education, DACA represents a vital lifeline to workforce development, professional licensing, and the ability to enter and thrive in their desired career field.”

Cezanne Hayden-Dyer, DACA Recipient and Consultant for the Higher Ed Immigration Portal, stated: “The 5th Circuit court’s decision to rule against DACA casts thousands of DACA recipients into a wave of uncertainty. For me, this means that I might not be able to pay for school nor complete my bachelors degree. It could also affect my ability to work and provide for my family including my 10-year-old son. There are so many opportunities that are being taken away. I’ve been in the US for over 25 years, this is my home, and without DACA my future here is bleak.” 

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The nonpartisan, nonprofit Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration brings college and university presidents and chancellors together on the immigration issues that impact higher education, our students, campuses, communities and nation. We work to advance just immigration policies and practices at the federal, state, and campus level that are consistent with our heritage as a ‘nation of immigrants’ and the academic values of equity and openness. The Alliance is composed of over 500 presidents and chancellors of public and private colleges and universities, enrolling over five million students in 43 states, D.C., and Puerto Rico."