Cornell’s Office of Financial Aid and Student Employment once again is extending support to students who face extenuating financial challenges in filing the application renewal for legal status through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
The office provides assistance through the DACA Renewal Fee Emergency Fund. The Trump administration announced rescission of the DACA program on Sept. 5, 2017, but it was reinstated by court order Jan. 9 and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service has resumed accepting requests to renew DACA status.
“We’re encouraged that the U.S. District Court [in San Francisco] has ordered reinstatement of DACA policy to enable eligible individuals to renew their status,” said Barbara Knuth, senior vice provost and dean of the Graduate School. “By providing the DACA Renewal Fee Emergency Fund, we hope our DACA-eligible students will be encouraged to continue their Cornell education. We want to help our students achieve their academic dreams.”
These emergency fund grants do not have to be repaid. Assistance is available to Cornell students with DACA status who are renewing, to those who previously held DACA status and are filing for renewal, and to those filing a new DACA request because their prior DACA status expired or was terminated, as allowed by the USCIS procedures. Enrolled students and newly admitted Cornell students who have accepted an offer of admission for fall 2018 matriculation are eligible.
Emergency funds up to $495 can be used to cover the cost of the renewal application for DACA status, employment authorization and biometric services.
To be eligible for assistance through the emergency fund, students must be enrolled in an undergraduate, graduate or professional degree program, or have been recently admitted and accepted an offer of admission for fall 2018 and paid the enrollment deposit. Students approved for the DACA Renewal Fee Emergency Fund will be notified by email.
In addition, immigration practitioners at Cornell Law School will provide immigration legal assistance free of charge to current students and those who have accepted Cornell’s offer of admission, who have DACA status or are undocumented. The Law School will also assist current and new Cornell students who are facing a loss of immigration status owing to temporary protected status rescission or other reasons.
For assistance, call the Cornell Law School Clinical Program at 607-255-4196 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cornell leaders have been strong advocates for the DACA program. President Martha E. Pollack has joined the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration, which launched Dec. 12, 2017. The group of more than 150 college and university leaders urges legal protection for undocumented “Dreamers” brought to the United States as children.
On Sept. 13, Pollack sent letters to the New York congressional delegation urging support for legislation to protect DACA participants, and on Sept. 7, 2017, she was among 57 Association of American Universities presidents and chancellors who signed a letter requesting immediate congressional action to establish a permanent legislative solution for the DACA program. On Aug. 31, 2017, Pollack sent a letter to President Trump to express her “deepest concerns” about Trump’s plans to end the DACA program.
And last March, Cornell joined more than 560 institutions of higher education in signing a letter to Trump asking that he support noncitizen students with DACA status.