I join University of California President Michael Drake and Regents Chair John Pérez in celebrating a federal judge’s decision last Friday to fully restore the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program. This means that DACA applications should open once again, when the Citizenship and Immigration Services website has been updated to provide further information.
DACA allows qualifying undocumented immigrants the opportunity to live and work in the United States. The program provides a vital opportunity for prospective students to pursue higher education. It encourages our undergraduate, postbaccalaureate and graduate students to continue their studies by facilitating opportunities to jobs, fellowships and resources more broadly.
While this decision is a great step forward, a permanent solution for DACA, Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and many other undocumented immigrant students is needed, including a path to citizenship. Undocumented immigrant students must have access to the basic and human rights afforded to U.S. citizens.
I’ve said this many times: Here at UC Davis, we have a dedicated community of undocumented and DACA recipient students from across the globe. These students — many of whom are the first in their families to attend college — contribute to our rich diversity of cultures and perspectives that is integral to our success as a global university.
I encourage members of our community to connect with our AB540 and Undocumented Student Center and UC Immigrant Legal Services Center, providing legal, policy, financial, mental health support and more to undocumented and mixed-immigration-status students, including DACA and TPS.
There’s more work to do, but I’m optimistic about this important step. I thank those members of our community — faculty, students, staff and alumni — who have continued to speak up for justice for our undocumented students.