Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is a program created in 2012 that makes use of discretion to defer removal action against an individual for a certain period of time. If you meet the guidelines, you may request deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal.

This program and application process are overseen by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).  Visit their website for more information about the program and how to apply.

The Impact of the Election on DACA & Undocumented Students

At IU, we recognize the absolute necessity of a diverse and inclusive community to an excellent education. All IU students are welcome in our community, regardless of their background or country of origin. With this in mind, we will closely monitor any developments in federal policy on immigration status and the DACA program in particular in the new year.

In addition, there are several resources for DACA students interested in how to proceed following the election.

Indiana University will continue and intensify its long-standing advocacy for expanded access to higher education for all of its students living in the United States, including specifically advocating for the continuation of the DACA status and for the equal treatment of such students for all educational programs.

Opportunity to Advocate for Undocumented and DACA Students

Bipartisan legislation was recently introduced in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives that would extend Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) protections for students at colleges or universities throughout the nation. Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) are the lead Senate sponsors for the legislation S.128, known as the BRIDGE Act. Other original co-sponsors include Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Kamala Harris (D-CA).

The lead sponsors for the House companion bill, H.R.496, are Representatives Mike Coffman (R-CO) and Luis Gutierrez (D-IL). Original co-sponsors of the House bill include Jeff Denham (R-CA), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), Carlos L. Curbelo (R-FL), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and Judy Chu (D-CA).

Many students on campus have called for protections for undocumented and DACA students. This legislation would provide those protections. The BRIDGE Act would extend “provisional protected presence” to DACA-eligible individuals. As with DACA, applicants would be required to pay a fee, be subject to criminal background checks, and meet other eligibility criteria indicating that they came to the U.S. as minors, grew up in this country, have pursued an education, have not committed any serious crimes, and do not pose a threat to our country. The BRIDGE Act would provide provisional protected presence and employment authorization for three years after the date of the enactment of the legislation.

The campus community has expressed a desire to help advocate on behalf of the DACA students. If students or faculty take the time to write a personalized letter or email to your U.S. Senators and Representatives that will have much more impact than a petition or mass email repeatedly saying the same thing.

Find your congressional district and the names of your U.S. Senators and Representative

Even more compelling is if you can say that you are familiar with a DACA student’s story and you know firsthand the hardship the uncertainty about their ability to remain in school has caused for them. If you refer to a DACA student, please do so only by their first name. The following are some suggestions to include in your personalized letter:

  • I am asking you to support and consider co-sponsoring H.R.496/S.128 bipartisan legislation known as the BRIDGE Act that would protect DACA and undocumented students brought to this country at a young age through no fault of their own.
  • Many of these students are now successfully attending U.S. colleges and universities, and are making our communities stronger.
  • A bipartisan effort, Republicans and Democrats alike can agree on this issue.
  • I hope I can count on your support of the BRIDGE Act and I hope you will consider signing on as a co-sponsor of this important legislation.

Participation in an advocacy campaign should be completely optional. This information is intended to provide our community with a way, if you so choose, to express support for legislation that would achieve the public policy for which so many of you have been advocating.