Advocating for DACA students

Many in the university community have expressed a desire to help advocate on behalf of DACA students. We provide this for informational purposes only. Participation in any advocacy campaign is completely optional and done on an individual basis (i.e., you do not speak on behalf of the university or its interests).

IU has policies for faculty and staff about political advocacy and involvement. Make sure that you follow all applicable policies if you participate in any advocacy campaign.

Review the policies

Pending legislation

Several senators and representatives have introduced bipartisan legislation 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 on campus have called for protection for undocumented or DACA students, similar to what this legislation includes. The BRIDGE Act would extend "provisional protected presence" to DACA-eligible individuals for three years after the date the legislation is enacted.

As with DACA, applicants would be required to pay a fee, be subject to criminal background checks, and have to meet other eligibility criteria–like 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.

What you can do

Get involved. Let your senators and representatives hear your voice. If you take the time to write a personalized letter or email to your senators and representatives it will have much more impact than a petition or mass email repeatedly saying the same thing.

Find your senators and representatives

If you are aware of a DACA student, it can be compelling to include in your letter that you know firsthand the hardship and uncertainty that these individuals face (only use the individual's first name if you use any name at all).

Here are some things you could include in your personalized correspondence:

  • I am asking you to support and consider co-sponsoring S.128/H.R.496 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.