ERIC Number: EJ1043425
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Mar-4
DACA-Lamented? Spared Deportation, Immigrant Students Still Face Higher Ed Barriers
Burke, Lauren A.
New England Journal of Higher Education, Mar 2014
In this brief article, immigration lawyer and executive director of Atlas: DIY Lauren Burke describes the challenges faced by "DACA-mented" students--those who have received deportation reprieve through President Obama's 2012 memorandum. Atlas: DIY (www.atlasdiy.org) is a cooperative center for undocumented youth and their allies in Brooklyn, New York. Atlas works with undocumented youth, those with visas and green cards, and citizen-allies. However, their largest member group is "DACA-mented." Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, provides a two-year grant of legal presence in the U.S., with the hopes of renewal, along with a social security number and work authorization to the recipient. It allows students to apply for academic or humanitarian leave to travel outside the country, pauses the accrual of unlawful status, and, in some states, provides students with in-state tuition or a driver's license. Unfortunately, however, some schools have yet to equally embrace these students. Some colleges have taken the first step to ensure that they are truly embodying their mission of making higher education a reality for as many deserving students as possible regardless of their immigration status. Amherst College, for example, has made its applications need-blind for DACA recipients. There are incredible, sometimes seemingly insurmountable, obstacles for undocumented and even DACA-mented youth who want to attend college in the U.S. These youth are ineligible for Pell Grants or other forms of federal aid, but there are often restrictions placed upon their travel and their work authorization "may" be temporary. Yet, despite these hurdles, many youth not only "want" to attend, but fight to attend college. Burke points out that it's a shame that New England schools, many of which were once known to push boundaries, are missing the opportunity to become true change-agents, marshaling a new era of equality. Closing doors, even just for a weekend will ultimately mean turning off amazing students, undocumented, DACA recipients, and citizens alike.
Descriptors: Immigrants, Higher Education, Barriers, Access to Education, Undocumented Immigrants, Leaves of Absence, Travel, Tuition, Grants, Eligibility, College Attendance, Federal Aid, Student Employment, Federal Legislation
New England Board of Higher Education. 45 Temple Place, Boston, MA 02111. Tel: 617-357-9620; Fax: 617-338-1577; e-mail: email@example.com; Web site: http://www.nebhe.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A