DACA Update: Enhanced Resources
February 16, 2018
Members of the Brown Community,
Advocating for comprehensive immigration reform that addresses the needs of individuals eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program has been one of the University’s legislative priorities for more than a year. This effort has intensified since the Trump Administration announced in September 2017 the decision to phase out the program, eliminating it completely effective March 5, 2018.
As of today, the U.S. Congress has failed to identify a solution to ensure that DACA and DACA-eligible individuals are able to work legally, live without fear of deportation, and contribute fully to their campuses, workplaces and communities. The situation remains highly fluid and uncertain. While two federal courts have blocked the administration from ending the program and we’re hopeful that action will be taken through Congress or the courts before the March program elimination date, we’re also taking deliberate steps to meet the needs of affected students in the event that a resolution is not achieved.
The University will continue to collaborate with our national associations and other critical partnerships that we’ve joined to underscore with Congress the significance of DACA to our mission and to the nation’s strength, leadership and competitiveness. We will also continue to address the legal, financial, health, wellness and safety concerns by:
- Reaffirming that the University will do everything legally possible to protect students, faculty and staff. (As a reminder, Brown’s Department of Public Safety neither inquires about nor acts upon information related to immigration status, and does not partner with federal or state agencies to do so. Further, all faculty, students and staff have been advised to direct any requests from law enforcement for information about the University or a member of our community to our Office of General Counsel.)
- Covering DACA renewal fees if renewal is an option.
- Expanding institutional scholarship funds to meet any funding gaps in a student’s financial aid award that may arise as a result of work authorization expiring.
- Offering grants to students in need to pay for legal representation, including the opportunity to engage a family member in the process, such as through a Skype call.
- Providing enhanced Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) resources with strengthened capacity to address specific needs in a timely way.
- Compiling a list of fellowships, internships and awards that are available to students regardless of citizenship.
- Continuing to provide educational and community-building programming through the FLi Center’s Undocumented and DACA Student Initiative.
Our students have also made it clear that losing work authorization is particularly concerning, not only due to financial burdens, but because of the engagement that meaningful employment opportunities provide. Therefore, should DACA be eliminated, we will create in-school and post-graduate opportunities for students unable to work legally to engage in stipend-supported research and education that is not citizenship-dependent.
The Dean of the College and the Vice President for Campus Life and Student Services are collaborating to establish Brown Experiential Learning Fellowships that will offer eligible students an opportunity to engage in independent, project-based experiences that include a research component. In addition to this, the University will offer tuition-free, fifth-year Master’s program enrollment for eligible 2018 graduates of Brown. Admitted students would receive a stipend and health insurance.
It is our hope that through these efforts, the University will continue to support academic development and achievement while Congress works to address essential immigration reform.
To learn more about these opportunities, please contact Julio Reyes, Program Director of the First-Generation College and Low-Income Student Center, at Julio_Reyes@brown.edu.
Richard M. Locke
Schreiber Family Professor of Political Science and
International and Public Affairs
Related Link: Undocumented and DACA Student Initiative