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ACE Releases Brief on the Post-Election Climate for the DACA Program, “Sanctuary Campuses”

December 05, 2016


NACUA Webinar Dec. 8 Will Discuss DACA, Other Post-Election Topics

​Amid uncertainty about the future of the nation’s immigration laws under the Trump administration, colleges and universities around the country are thinking about what might be in store for their undocumented students.

Primary among these questions is the fate of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program established in 2012 under President Obama, which permits approved young undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children to stay for two years at a time without fear of deportation.

Many of college and university presidents have written letters and spoken to the media (click here, here and here for just a few examples) about the value of the DACA program, and some have been in conversation about “sanctuary campus” petitions. A new issue brief from ACE can help frame the discussion about these questions. It addresses concerns such as the data DACA applicants submitted in their applications; sanctuary campuses; institutional pledges of non-cooperation; and complying with requests by federal officials for records identifying undocumented students or other community members, among others.

While DACA is rather straightforward, the broader issues are complex and nuanced. Context matters, as do state and local laws and institutional (and campus police) relationships with state and local policy makers and authorities. Whether an institution is public or private may matter, as well as whether students are primarily residents or commuters. These, and other potentially relevant things, may require a careful assessment of a particular issue or question in the moment, in a rapidly changing environment. This is not a simple matter—there are many ambiguities involved—and institutions may need to consult legal counsel.

NACUA to Hold Post-Election Webinar Dec. 8

To learn more about DACA/sanctuary and other post-election issues that impact the higher education community, the National Association of College and University Attorneys NACUA will sponsor a webinar on Dec. 8 from 12-2:00 p.m. EST, co-sponsored by ACE. Among the other topics that will be addressed are the process and timeline for political appointments and policy implementation; campus climate and unrest issues; and addressing sex-based discrimination and sexual misconduct.

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