The future of over 30 UM System students has become uncertain.
On Tuesday, the Trump administration announced the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA.
If Congress does not legalize DACA or a similar program within six months, many young people will eventually be deported back to their country of origin, including several MU students.
“As a public institution, we certainly have to follow all applicable state and federal laws,” MU spokesman Christian Basi said. “But, we would also certainly provide as much support to any of our students as we possibly could. It would really depend on the situation and it’s really hard to speculate what that might look like.”
The Obama-era immigration policy was created in 2012. It allows young people who were illegally brought to the U.S. before they were 16 years old to go to school and to obtain work permits and driver’s licences. To be eligible for the program, applicants have to be younger than 31 years old and provide evidence to show that they have lived in the U.S. consecutively since June 15, 2007, according to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website.
DACA recipients, also known as DREAMers, must also prove that they have a clean criminal record and are enrolled in high school or college, or serve in the military.
According to U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services, there are over 800,000 DREAMers in the U.S. Of that, there are more than 35 DACA students enrolled in the UM System, which includes the campuses in Columbia, St. Louis, Rolla and Kansas City, according to an email to students from UM System President Mun Choi and the chancellors of the four system schools.
Basi said there are fewer than 10 DACA students attending MU. At MU, DACA students are charged the same tuition that applies to international students, according to the email. DACA students have the same access to campus services as other students.
MU Chancellor Alexander Cartwright has not specified what will happen to MU DACA students, but he has maintained his support for the immigration policy and advocates for its renewal.
“In the near term, we need to stay close to the students, understand where they are right now, what’s changed in their status,” Cartwright said. “As soon as we know more about where things are changing, then we’ll be able to work more closely with them.”
Cartwright signed a letter with the Association of American Universities supporting the renewal of DACA. This letter has been signed by administrators from 57 colleges and universities across the U.S. The letter, addressed to House Speaker Paul Ryan, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, urges Congress to “immediately enact a permanent legislative solution for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.”
On Tuesday night, President Trump tweeted that he will “revisit this issue” if Congress fails to legalize DACA within its six-month time frame.
Edited by Olivia Garrett | email@example.com