DACA Supreme Court Ruling

Policy and Advocacy Equity, Inclusion and Social Justice
June 18, 2020 Dr. Angela Batista Dr. Kevin Kruger

NASPA applauds the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to denounce the rescission of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The Supreme Court’s ruling keeps in place a program that allows 650,000 current DACA status holders - as well as hundreds of thousands of others who now can renew or submit new applications - to continue working and learning with fewer barriers. This is critically important at a time when all of our communities, and marginalized populations, in particular, are experiencing acute distress. 

Undocumented individuals in the higher education community, including those with DACA status, face a multitude of barriers, including guidance imposed by the Department of Education (ED) that limits relief from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to students who meet Title IV eligibility requirements. ED released an interim final rule to the Federal Register today that solidifies this guidance and carries the effect of law. The rule is open for public comment through July 17. If you would like to submit your own comments, you may find NASPA’s Q&A on submitting public comments to be a helpful resource. The Supreme Court’s decision today is just one step in the right direction, and there is more to be done. 

NASPA has advocated for legislation that supports the full participation of immigrant students, faculty, and staff, as well as the creation of a permanent pathway to citizenship for undocumented individuals, as indicated through our position statement on immigration and higher education. The Supreme Court’s decision in this case is favorable for those who benefit from DACA status, but we also recognize that millions of undocumented individuals do not benefit from the program. Efforts to pursue avenues for immigration relief for all individuals should continue. 

We encourage campuses to reach out to students and employees to direct them to resources, including the following websites: rememberthedreamers.org, unitedwedream.org, homeishere.us, and immigrantsrising.org. The leadership of NASPA’s Undocumented Immigrants and Allies Knowledge Community has compiled a list of tangible action items that campuses can implement to support students, faculty, and staff: