UC lawsuit leads to more than 100,000 DACA renewals so far

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Adrienne Shih/File

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As a result of legal advocacy by the UC over the past year, 117,446 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, recipients received renewals to legally reside in the United States for two more years.

The university filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration in September 2017 over the decision to repeal DACA. On Jan. 9, U.S. District Judge William Alsup issued a temporary nationwide injunction on the grounds that the original decision to end DACA was improper and that the Trump administration must continue to process DACA renewal applications during the legal battle over the program.

“These numbers provide some good news,” said UC President Janet Napolitano in a press release. “For the next two years, these immigrants brought to the country as children, who have done all that has been asked of them to authorize their U.S. residency, can continue to work, pursue their educations, help support their families, and live without fear of deportation.”

The university has an estimated 4,000 undocumented students currently enrolled, many of whom are DACA recipients, according to UC Office of the President, or UCOP, spokesperson Danielle Smith.

Additionally, the university provides resources such as the DREAM Loan Program and legal services and orders campus police not to apprehend, interrogate or arrest people based on their legal status, Smith said in an email.

Liliana Iglesias, academic counselor and coordinator for the campus Undocumented Student Program, or USP, said the program would like to see more financial support being offered for students who don’t meet all of the requirements for DACA or AB 540, which exempts certain undocumented students from paying nonresident tuition.

“In terms of UCOP, it would be great … for the UCs to have a mandate that all the career centers offer certain workshops, programs and events for undocumented students for all the different options there are after they graduate,” Iglesias said.

Iglesias added that offering more professional development experience while students are enrolled would be ideal.

Furthermore, undocumented students on campus would like to see comprehensive immigration reform for everyone, regardless of whether DACA continues as program or not, according to Iglesias.

“I could imagine conflicting (opinions). For example, some students may qualify for DACA, but … their friends and family don’t,” Iglesias said. “So they’re hoping for more moving forward.”

Contact Mani Sandhu at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @ManiSandhu24.