September 4, 2017 — President Tiefenthaler's letter to the campus
What is DACA?
On June 15, 2012, the Secretary of Homeland Security announced that certain people who came to the United States as children and meet several key guidelines may request consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (deferred action from removal proceedings) for a period of two years, subject to renewal. Those granted deferred action are also eligible for work authorization. A grant of deferred action is temporary and does not provide a path to lawful permanent resident status or U.S. citizenship. However, a person granted deferred action is considered by the federal government to be lawfully present in the U.S. for as long as the grant of deferred action is in effect.
What is the current status of DACA?
On September 5, 2017, the Acting Secretary of Homeland Security rescinded the June 15, 2012 memorandum that established the DACA program. According to a memorandum and FAQ from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the agency will phase the DACA program out over the next six months, i.e. by March 5, 2018, and will cease accepting new initial DACA applications after September 5, 2017, but will continue to process pending cases and will accept some renewal applications for a limited period.
What is going to happen to current DACA holders?
Current DACA recipients will be permitted to retain both the period of deferred action and their Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) until they expire, unless terminated or revoked. DACA benefits are generally valid for two years from the date of issuance.
What happens to individuals who currently have an initial DACA request pending with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USICS)?
USCIS will continue to adjudicate---on an individual, case-by-case basis---all properly filed DACA initial requests and associated applications for Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) that have been accepted as of September 5, 2017.
What happens to individuals who currently have a request for renewal of DACA pending with USCIS?
USCIS will continue to adjudicate---on an individual, case-by-case basis---properly filed pending DACA renewal requests and associated applications for Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) from current beneficiaries that have been accepted as of September 5, 2017, and from current beneficiaries whose benefits will expire between September 5, 2017 and March 5, 2018 that have been accepted as of October 5, 2017. USCIS will reject all requests to renew DACA and associated applications for EADs filed after October 5, 2017.
What happens when an individual’s DACA benefits expire over the course of the next two years? Will individuals with expired DACA be considered illegally present in the country?
Current law does not grant any legal status for the class of individuals who are current recipients of DACA. Recipients of DACA are currently unlawfully present in the U.S. with their removal deferred. When their period of deferred action expires or is terminated, their removal will no longer be deferred and they will no longer be eligible for lawful employment.
What were the previous guidelines for USCIS to grant DACA?
Individuals meeting the following categorical criteria could apply for DACA if they:
- Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
- Came to the United States before reaching their 16th birthday;
- Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;
- Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making their request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;
- Had no lawful status on June 15, 2012, meaning that:
- The individual never had a lawful immigration status on or before June 15, 2012, or
- Any lawful immigration status or parole that the individual had obtained prior to June 15, 2012, had expired as of June 15, 2012;
- Are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a General Educational Development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and
- Have not been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor, three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.
Who is a DACA student?
A DACA student has received deferred action under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals process. Most DACA students are also granted work authorization; and if a student has work authorization, the student may be eligible to obtain a Social Security number. For more information about obtaining a Social Security number, visit www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/deferred_action.pdf.
Can a DACA student work on campus?
Yes. For individuals whose cases have been deferred and who have been granted work authorization, there is no immediate change in their ability to work. Those individuals will be issued an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and, unless the individual’s period of deferred action has been terminated or revoked, the individual is eligible to work in the U.S. until the expiration date noted on the EAD. The EAD that USCIS issues to an eligible deferred action recipient is one of the documents listed as acceptable for the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. The EAD establishes both identity and employment authorization under “List A" of the Form I-9.
Is a DACA student eligible for financial aid?
Undocumented students, including DACA recipients, are not eligible for federal student aid, but may still be eligible for state or college aid, in addition to private scholarships. DACA students who are interested in applying for financial aid at CC should complete a College Board CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE form and submit signed copies of parents' and student's Federal Income Tax returns (include all pages, schedules, and forms) and parents' and student's W-2 forms to the Financial Aid office.
Can a DACA student study abroad?
Prior to September 5, 2017, DACA beneficiaries could apply for advance parole authorization from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Advance parole allows a DACA student to leave the U.S., if approved, for humanitarian, employment, or educational purposes, including “taking part in a study abroad program or doing academic research."
Effective September 5, 2017, USCIS will no longer approve any new applications for advance parole under standards associated with the DACA program. Those with a current advance parole validity period from a previously-approved advance parole application will generally retain the benefit until it expires. However, U.S. Custom and Border Protection (CBP) retains the authority it has always exercised in determining the admissibility of any person presenting at the border. Further, USCIS retains the authority to revoke or terminate an advance parole document at any time.
Before a DACA student travels outside the U.S., however, it is recommended that the student consult with an immigration attorney about whether there are factors in the student’s case that might prevent the student from being able to return to the U.S., even though the student has been granted advance parole. In the past, many DACA recipients have been able to travel abroad and return to the U.S. with advance parole, but each person’s case is different, so the National Immigration Law Center recommends that a DACA student not leave the U.S., even if the student has been granted advance parole, until the student has gotten advice from an immigration attorney.
If a student has DACA and has also been granted advance parole to travel outside the U.S., the student’s trip should be planned so that the student will return to the U.S. before the student’s DACA expires. If the student wants to be able to return to the U.S., it is very important that the student’s DACA does not expire during the student’s trip.
For a helpful 20-minute webinar on travel abroad issues for DACA recipients, see: https://cliniclegal.org/resources/webinars/webinar-travel-abroad-deferred-action-childhood-arrivals-daca-recipients. To learn more about the legal issues that DACA students should consider prior to traveling a traveling abroad through advance parole, see: https://cliniclegal.org/resources/articles-clinic/advance-parole-daca-recipients.
DACA students should always consult with an immigration attorney about the specifics of their individual case before traveling internationally. One of the sources of legal help for DACA students here in the Colorado Springs area is Catholic Charities of Central Colorado, which is located right here in Colorado Springs: https://www.immi.org/info/ViewOtherOrgDetail/392713. For more information about legal resources for DACA students, see: https://www.immi.org/home/index.
Does a DACA student have to establish a GLACIER account at CC?
Colorado College Finance & Administration uses the GLACIER Nonresident Alien Tax Compliance System to support the nonresident alien visitors that come to campus. The GLACIER software provides all required tax forms for foreign individuals earning income (employment, honorariums, scholarships, awards, royalties, etc.) during their time in the United States, including Form W-4 and the forms required for an individual to claim any tax treaty benefits for which they may be eligible. Only individuals with nonresident alien tax status need a GLACIER account. A DACA student who meets the IRS’ substantial presence test is considered to be a U.S. resident for tax purposes and, therefore, does not need a GLACIER account.
What other supports are available for a DACA student at CC?
The Butler Center is the hub of diversity, inclusion, intercultural exchange, equity, and empowerment for the Colorado College community. We encourage all students to connect with The Butler Center and their programming while at CC.
U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Memorandum on Rescission Of Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals (DACA): https://www.dhs.gov/news/2017/09/05/memorandum-rescission-daca#
DHS Frequently Asked Questions: Rescission Of Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals (DACA): https://www.dhs.gov/news/2017/09/05/frequently-asked-questions-rescission-deferred-action-childhood-arrivals-daca
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) DACA Toolkit (http://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/USCIS/Humanitarian/Deferred%20Action%20for%20Childhood%20Arrivals/DACA-toolkit.pdf)
USCIS Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) (http://www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/consideration-deferred-action-childhood-arrivals-daca)
USCIS DACA Frequently Asked Questions (http://www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/consideration-deferred-action-childhood-arrivals-process/frequently-asked-questions)
Frequently Asked Questions on DACA Termination - National Immigration Law Center (https://www.nilc.org/issues/daca/daca-termination-faq/)
USCIS Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals: Guidance for Employers (http://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/USCIS/Humanitarian/Deferred%20Action%20for%20Childhood%20Arrivals/DACA-Fact-Sheet-I-9_Guidance-for-employers_nov20_2012.pdf)
U.S. Department of Education Federal Student Aid Questions and Answers: Financial Aid and Undocumented Students (https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/sites/default/files/financial-aid-and-undocumented-students.pdf)