In 2012, President Obama established the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy by executive action. DACA allowed undocumented immigrants who arrived in the United States as children to become eligible for a work permit, Social Security card, driver’s license, and deferred deportation. To qualify, applicants must pass a rigorous test including: arrival in the United States before age 16, continuous residence here since 2012, enrollment in or completion of high school, and the absence of a conviction of a serious crime.
Last year, the Trump administration rescinded the policy, but delayed ending it until March 5, 2018. In granting a six-month delay, President Trump asked Congress to pass legislation providing a permanent solution for those currently protected under DACA. So far, Congress has been unable to do so. A Federal District Court injunction blocked the March 5 termination, but the Administration plans to appeal that decision.
An estimated 790,000 current DACA permits will begin to expire on a rolling basis after March 5, including 350,000 students with DACA status who are in school or pursuing higher education. As Congress has thus far been unable to come to agreement on DACA legislation, recent reports suggest they may resort to a temporary, one-year extension, which would keep in place the uncertainty and looming threat of deportation.
Leaders throughout the higher education community – including at Pitt – have voiced their concerns to Congress and urged an immediate permanent solution to protect DACA recipients from deportation.
You, too, can make your voice heard on this important issue. Consider using the form on this page to contact your elected officials.