What the End of DACA Could Mean for Your Students and Career Center
On September 5, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Trump administration would be phasing out the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program. Over the next few months, this act will affect hundreds of thousands of college students across the country. Due to this fact, colleges and universities nationwide are trying to determine exactly what this measure could mean for their students and career centers.
What Is DACA?
The DACA program was established in 2012 under the Obama administration. This program did not provide a pathway to citizenship, but it did offer temporary relief to eligible undocumented immigrants who were brought into the United States as children. It gave eligible immigrants a two-year reprieve from deportation and a work permit that enabled them to find legal employment in the United States.
Effects of the Elimination of DACA
This planned phase out will have no effect on current DACA enrollees for at least the first six months. The long-term effects of the elimination of DACA, however, will undoubtedly have lasting effects. Not only will these students be at risk for deportation, they also risk losing some funding for tuition. Undocumented immigrants, including the formerly protected DACA students, are not eligible for federal financial aid. However, several states offer financial aid funding to eligible DACA students, as well as in-state tuition rates, both of which could be affected by the closing of the DACA program.
Another problem DACA students will face is that their legal right to work in the United States will end. Unless additional action is taken, beginning March 6, DACA students will lose their work permit status as their two-year deportation deferment ends. Without viable job options within the United States, many students may consider forgoing their continuing education.
There is still a possibility that these students will be safe from deportation. President Trump has encouraged Congress to pass legislation that paves the way to citizenship for these students.
Career centers across the country can do their part in helping their students by providing the resources they need to stay informed. It seems unlikely that employers will stop hiring Dreamers, at least in the short term. This means that career centers also should continue to provide the valuable job search skills and tools their students need to find gainful employment within their field.