Q&A: Responding to DACA Repeal

Responding to Trump Administration’s Decision to Rescind Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Programs

On September 5, 2017, the Trump Administration announced that it would rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, and outlined steps it would take through March 5, 2018 to phase it out. The announcement included the following important information:

  • Current DACA and related employment authorization will remain valid until their expiration date.
  • No new, first-time DACA applications will be accepted for processing if submitted after September 5, 2017. Pending applications will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
  • Applications for renewal of DACA issuances and work permits with expiration dates between September 5, 2017 and March 5, 2018 are being accepted, and must be submitted by October 5, 2017. (NOTE: DACA issuances and work permits that expire after March 5, 2018, will lapse on the expiration date. They will not accept applications for renewal for those with expiration dates after March 5, 2018.)
  • Effective September 5, 2017, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will no longer grant DACA recipients permission to travel abroad through “Advance Parole.” Any pending applications for advance parole will not be processed and DHS will refund any associated fees.

President Christina Paxson, Provost Richard Locke and Vice President for Campus Life and Student Services Eric Estes issued a statement condemning this action. The University is also taking a number of steps to advocate for legislation that would reinstate the protections offered by the DACA program and ensure the fair and just treatment of the thousands of individuals affected by this policy change, and the opportunity for the nation to benefit fully through their full, legal engagement.

Brown University is also recommitting support for undocumented and DACA enrolled students. This includes adhering to the policy adopted by the University in September 2016, to consider undocumented and DACA enrolled students as domestic students, and ensuring first-time, first-year undergraduate applicants who hold undocumented or DACA status and graduate from a U.S. high school are considered under the University’s need-blind admission policy, and meeting 100 percent of the demonstrated financial need of those who matriculate.  Brown will also enhance support provided through the newly established Undocumented and DACA Student Initiative, located in the First Generation Low Income Student Center (FLi Center), and take steps to ensure that these promising and talented students are able to thrive and contribute fully to our community.  

What follows are responses to some anticipated questions regarding Brown’s response to this change. 

 1.     What does the recent decision to rescind the DACA program mean for students at Brown now?

The recent decision to rescind DACA and to phase out the program through March 5, 2018, will have different implications for different students. The most important thing for students at Brown to know is that the University is committed to supporting them legally, financially, personally and academically, recognizing that every individual’s situation is distinct and different.

First and foremost, students should register any particular concerns with Julio Reyes, FLi Center program director, who can engage the appropriate individuals throughout the University to address specific issues. Below is a list of resources that the University is providing immediately:

DACA Renewal: The University recommends that students who are eligible to renew their DACA authorization (i.e. if their DACA status or employment authorization documents expire between September 5, 2017 and March 5, 2018) should apply for renewal as soon as possible. The University will cover the costs of the application fee and related attorney consultation. Please meet with Assistant Dean of the College for Financial Advising Vernicia L. Elie to access funding. 

Legal Support: The University will support students’ accessing outisde legal consultation, and believe that students should exercise agency in choosing an attorney that they trust. To access funding to support an initial consultation with an outside attorney, please meet with Assistant Dean of the College for Financial Advising Vernicia L. Elie at 863-5671. 

For a list of outside attorneys who practice immigration law, please contact FLi Center Program Director Julio Reyes.

Financial Support: If the recent decision affects a student’s financial aid award, the University will expand institutional scholarship funds to meet any funding gaps. 

  • Undergraduate students in need should be in touch directly with Director of Financial Aid Counseling Shannon Gallagher at 863-2721.
  • Graduate students in need should contact Associate Dean of the Graduate School Marlina Duncan at 863-2713
  • Medical students in need should contact Associate Dean of Medical Education Allan Tunkel at 863-1618.

Health and Wellness: We recognize that this is a highly stressful period for students affected by these changes and the uncertainty they present. Brown has enhanced Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) resources, including increasing the diversity of the health professionals to ensure a depth of relevant experience. To access general mental health and wellness support, please contact CAPS at 863-3576 to schedule an appointment. Undocumented and DACA students seeking a specific point person in CAPS should contact FLi Center Program Director Julio Reyes.

2.     What will this decision mean for students after the DACA program is fully phased out on March 5, 2018?

The University’s priority is to ensure that students who were brought to Brown because of their exceptional talents are able to thrive academically and contribute fully as members of the community. The University will provide the requisite financial, legal, educational and health and wellness support to facilitate continued academic success.  This may include housing and other support should students decide not to travel during extended campus closings, such as winter break.

3.     What are some options and opportunities once work permits expire (school, fellowships, work)? 

If the recent decision affects a student’s financial aid award, the University will expand institutional scholarship funds to meet any funding gaps. In addition to this, Brown University’s Dean of the College office offers a number of fellowship, research and career path opportunities that are available to all students, regardless of citizenship status. Specifically:

Karen T. Romer Undergraduate Teaching and Research Awards (UTRAs) support Brown students collaborating with Brown faculty on research and teaching projects during the summer or the academic year. All Brown undergraduate students are eligible to apply for UTRAs.  Undocumented and DACA enrolled students should contact Associate Dean of the College Oludurotimi_Adetunj@brown.edu to discuss individual circumstances.

CareerLAB offers LINK and Signature Awards programs through BrownConnect, which are available to all students regardless of citizenship status. The office will fund nearly 300 of these for summer 2017. Other opportunities through BrownConnect include Bruno internships (provided by Brown alumni and parents). Undocumented and DACA enrolled students should contact Career Advisor Amy_Tarbox@brown.edu for additional information.

The Swearer Center also has summer internship opportunities that are available to all students, regardless of citizenship status. Undocumented and DACA enrolled students status should contact Swearer Center Director Mathew_Johnson@brown.edu for additional information and to discuss any individual interests and circumstances.

Fellowships:  Brown specific fellowships such as the Baker and Emery scholarship are open to all Brown undergraduate students. Private foundations will vary in terms of eligibility related to citizenship; undocumented or DACA students could be eligible for certain nationally competitive awards such as the Schwarzman and the Projects for Peace. Foundations may consider applicants on a case by case basis as every individual situation is different.  Undocumented and DACA enrolled students should contact Associate Dean of the College for Fellowships Linda_Dunleavy@brown.edu to explore possible options.

4.     What is the University’s policy regarding law enforcement and immigration status?

Brown’s Department of Public Safety neither inquiries about nor acts upon information related to immigration status, and does not partner with federal or state agencies to do so. For more information, please contact Michelle Nuey, Manager & Advocate, Community Relations and Outreach Bureau, or Lt. John A. Carvlho at Brown’s Department of Public Safety..

5.     What should a student do if they are approached on or off campus by immigration officials?

If immigration authorities are on campus, or if you are detained off campus at any time as a result of immigration status, please contact the Department of Public Safety (DPS) immediately at 863-3322. DPS will contact relevant University officials.

6. What should a Brown employee do if they are approached by law enforcement for information about a member of the Brown community?

If a Brown employee is approached by federal, state, or local law enforcement seeking information about a member of the Brown community, the Brown employee should contact DPS at 863-3322 and the Office of General Counsel's Deputy Counsel James Green at 863-3122. 

7. What current federal legislation is pending related to immigration reform?

The primary pieces of legislation that address immigration reform, and specifically DACA eligible individuals are the BRIDGE Act the Dream Act. Please visit this document for a side-by-side comparison of these bills and other relevant legislation. 

President Paxson and Brown University have taken a number of steps to emphasize the importance of these bills and the principles they represent by joining with other colleges and universities, federal associations, and by weighing in directly with members of Congress and President Trump.

It is expected that in the coming week a bipartisan bill will be introduced specially to address the gaps and uncertainty caused by the rescission of DACA, and this level of advocacy will continue.

There are many ways for students to advocate for change, including contacting members of Congress to act swiftly to pass legislation to address the needs of the 800,000 individuals who have been affected by this recent action.

Please see this page to identify the members of Congress who represent you based on the zip code of your residence. It is important to weigh in with your interests and concerns, and that you encourage friends and family to do the same.

8.     Who are the primary point persons on campus prepared to serve as resources to DACA and undocumented students?

The primary point of contact for undocumented and DACA enrolled students is FLi Center Program Director Julio Reyes, who is knowledgeable about the full range of issues that confront these students and can access relevant resources across the University to support a full range of needs. In addition, under the leadership of Provost Richard Locke, key student services across campus have been collaborating to expand support for students and the effectiveness of offices in serving members of this campus community. Below is a listing of individuals who are particularly knowledgeable about immigrant and undocumented student concerns. These individuals are closely connected through a network of support and are careful to maintain student privacy in discussing sensitive issues.

OFFICE / TOPICS

LIAISON

Office of the Dean of the College / undergraduate academic advising

Maitrayee Bhattacharyya, Senior Associate Dean of the College for Diversity and Inclusion

Graduate School / doctoral and masters students’ issues and concerns related to their academic experience

Marlina Duncan / Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion

Warren Alpert Medical School / medical student issues and concerns related to their academic experience

Joseph Diaz / Associate Dean for Diversity and Multicultural Affairs

Student Support Services / personal and life concerns for all students

Andrés Fernández, Assistant Dean of Student Support Services

Institutional advocacy, concerns, and considerations

Mary Grace Almandrez, Associate Vice President for Campus Life & Dean of Students

Financial Advising & Financial Aid

Shannon Gallagher, Director of Counseling, Financial Aid Office

Office of the Chaplains and Religious Life / confidential personal and multifaith spiritual support for students and their families

The Rev Janet Cooper Nelson, University Chaplain

CareerLAB

Amy Tarbox, Career Advisor

Swearer Center for Public Service/ Summer opportunities

Mathew Johnson, Swearer Center Director

School of Public Health

Cariline Kuo, DPhil, MPhil, Assistant Dean of Diversity and Inclusion & Assistant Professor