As many of you are aware, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was in the news again last week. A federal appeals court in Louisiana declared the DACA policy unlawful, but temporarily suspended its own ruling, and sent the case back to a federal district court in Texas to assess the Biden Administration’s most recent actions to solidify the DACA program.
This decision has again left DACA recipients in a state of uncertainty and anxiety. The court’s ruling last Wednesday bars any new, first-time DACA applications, although current DACA recipients will continue to receive DACA protections and may continue to renew their permits.
As one of the most diverse universities in the country, UNLV has been clear on this issue in the past and our position remains unchanged. Our DACA eligible students contribute to our identity and mission. We firmly believe every student – including undocumented and DACA students – should be able to pursue their goals and seek opportunities to improve their lives through higher education without fearing for their safety or future. DACA and undocumented students are valued members of our university and our community, and we will continue to support them and advocate for them.
As I have stated previously, the future of DACA should not continue to be debated in the courts. Each ruling generates a new round of fear, confusion, and uncertainty. This issue needs to be resolved in Congress through bipartisan legislation that supports Dreamers for whom the DACA program was created.
Our Undocumented Student Program will host a briefing and discussion at 12:30 p.m. today on these recent developments. More information on the session, and other resources for undocumented students is available on our site. Meanwhile, the UNLV Immigration Clinic’s University Legal Services program continues to offer free immigration legal services, including DACA assistance, to UNLV and College of Southern Nevada students, staff, and their families. Any member of our community who would like assistance renewing DACA may sign up here.
We will continue to follow this issue closely and share information with our campus community as it develops.
Keith E. Whitfield, Ph.D.