As the U.S. Supreme Court Hears DACA Cases, California Stands With Undocumented Students

Today, the United States Supreme Court will hear arguments on the future of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The program has been pivotal in ensuring a better future, access to jobs, and some peace of mind for an estimated 700,000 DACA recipients – the largest share of whom are California undocumented youth. While the Trump Administration moved to end the program in September 2017, various lawsuits have been filed seeking to defend the program, along with unsuccessful efforts to overturn it. Of the lawsuits filed, the U.S. Supreme Court has selected and “consolidated” three cases filed at the lower federal courts to review for oral argument: Regents of the University of California v. Department of Homeland Security, Batalla Vidal v. Nielsen, and NAACP v. Trump , which they will consider all together.

There is broad concern and anxiety as the U.S. Supreme Court finally hears the case. However, it is important to know that today’s hearing will not change the current status of the program. A decision on whether President Trump’s action to end DACA was lawful will not be decided immediately. Experts expect the U.S. Supreme Court to announce its decision sometime before June 2020. Until then, current DACA recipients are still able to renew their applications and maintain their status, although no first-time applications are allowed.

California's undocumented and DACAmented students have continued and growing support available to them from our state. In addition to allowing students to pay in-state tuition rates upon applying for AB 540 status, California provides state-based financial aid to undocumented students through the California Dream Act Application, available here .

While we await the fate of DACA and this Supreme Court decision, we join our state and higher education leaders in standing alongside our undocumented population and encouraging them to continue pursuing their college dreams. We are especially grateful to the Regents of the University of California for leading this fight on behalf of students across the country. In this nation built by immigrants, education and opportunity should be a path available to all who call California and the United States home.

To learn more about the court cases, RSVP for  DACA at the Supreme Court: Implications for Students and Higher Education , a telephonic briefing hosted by the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration. 
Michele Siqueiros