January 16, 2018
Dear Campus Community:
While the long-term future of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program remains uncertain and is the focus of national debate, a federal court ruling has created an immediate opportunity for some individuals to pursue DACA renewals. The university strongly encourages eligible students and staff to act promptly. If needed, UMass Amherst will offer access to non-state funding through its donor-supported Angel Fund to aid their applications and pay for legal assistance.
The new program announced by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) over the weekend only applies to people who previously received DACA. The agency is not accepting requests from people who have never been granted deferred action. Those whose deferred action expired on or after Sept. 5, 2016 are allowed to file for renewal. People whose deferred action expired before that date are eligible to file a new DACA request. Details of the USCIS policy can be read here.
For further information, including confidential legal assistance, you may contact:
- Student Legal Services Office: 413-545-1995 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Curran & Berger (outside immigration counsel retained by UMass): 413-584-3232, email@example.com
- International Programs Office: 413-545-2710 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Securing a DACA renewal can for the immediate future maintain access to legal employment and education and avoid the threat of deportation. Please don’t hesitate to act.
Meanwhile, enduring protection for “Dreamers” will require bipartisan legislative and executive action in Washington, and I have joined educational leaders across the country in advocating for such political resolve. DACA has allowed thousands of young people to emerge from the shadows to achieve their life goals, including the pursuit of higher education, and they deserve our support and protection.