December 9, 2020
The Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Relations (OIIR) stands in solidarity with our Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and undocumented students, faculty, staff as we celebrate the recent federal decision to restore DACA to its original terms. In its decision on Friday December 4th (Batalla v. Trump), the court concluded that the Acting Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was not lawfully appointed, and thus, the most recent DHS memorandum that had limited DACA was not lawful. Due to this decision, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) must restore DACA to the terms and eligibility of the 2012 original memorandum and accept initial DACA applications from eligible applicants. USCIS has updated its website to comply with this decision as of December 7th, 2020, which can be viewed here.
The court's decision comes as a reprieve after consistent attacks on the immigrant community via the current federal administration. The Migration Policy Institute estimates that 685 thousand individuals are immediately eligible for initial DACA submission and 400 thousand additional individuals may be eligible in the future. This decision is consistent with OIIR's commitment to provide an accessible education to all students. Supporting DACA and undocumented students is in direct accordance with the University of Illinois' vision and goals to foster diversity on campus. Thus, OIIR will continue to raise awareness across campus of the challenges DACA and undocumented students face as we foster an environment where students can gain the access, support, and guidance they need to prepare for civic engagement and productive careers upon graduation.
Our DACA and undocumented community members represent the best of who we are, and this court decision will allow DACA recipients to have work authorization and temporary protection from deportation, which are vital in order to complete their higher education. We will continue to work with our peers in the state of Illinois as well as national organizations to determine our next steps as we advocate for a permanent solution for our DACA and undocumented students.
For updates on immigration policies and other resources for undocumented students on our campus, please go to: https://open.illlinois.edu. Individuals who are considering applying to the DACA program for the first time should consider legal counsel to discuss their eligibility. We encourage Illinois students to contact the Immigration Law Clinic in the College of Law to seek legal assistance and have an attorney assist them in preparation of their application. Please contact the Immigration Law Clinic by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 217-244-9494 to set up an appointment.
If you need any additional support during this time, please reach out to La Casa Cultural Latina (email@example.com).
Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Relations
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign