DACA Policy

Updates, information and resources for the Manhattan College community.

  • Background Information

    Background Information

    In June 2012, then President Barack Obama announced the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy. DACA applicants had to:

    • Be under 31 years old as of June 15, 2012;
    • Arrive in the United States before their 16th birthday;
    • Have lived continuously in the United States from June 15, 2007;
    • Be physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012 and at the time they applied for DACA;
    • Have come to the United States without documents before June 15, 2012, or have a lawful status that expired as of June 15, 2012;
    • Be current students, high school graduates or have earned a GED, or have been honorably discharged from the military or U.S. Coast Guard; and
    • Have no felony convictions, no more than two misdemeanor convictions, or have no significant misdemeanor convictions (i.e. Driving Under the Influence).

    Shortly after this announcement by President Obama, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) began formally implementing the DACA program and polices, and the Unites States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) began accepting DACA applications.

    The 2012 DACA policy did not provide a path to citizenship, but allowed recipients to obtain work authorizations, drivers’ licenses, and other documentation allowing them to attend college. DACA also provided temporary protection from deportation.

    On September 5, 2017, United States Attorney General Jeffrey B. Sessions announced that the current administration was rescinding DACA and that DHS would begin winding down the program immediately. This announcement was followed by a memo from the Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine C. Duke detailing the new changes to the DACA program, including deadlines for renewal and adjudication of pending DACA requests.

  • FAQs & Resources

    The responses to the FAQs listed below and the resources provided are informational and do not constitute legal advice. They are intended to help affected members of the Manhattan Community understand the most recent federal action to rescind DACA and its impact, and to raise awareness of critical deadlines. Please note that the situation with respect to DACA is fluid and this FAQ will be updated as additional information becomes available. 

    Q1. What will happen to individuals covered by DACA or who have pending applications?
    A1. Current DACA approvals will be honored until they expire. For people whose DACA approval expires before March 5, 2018, they MUST apply for their renewals and the request must be ACCEPTED before October 5, 2017. All pending applications that were accepted as of September 5, 2017 will be processed.

    Q2. Is it too late to apply for DACA?
    A2. USCIS will reject new applications.

    Q3. Can individuals who have successfully applied for DACA protection travel outside of the United States?
    A3. DACA recipients needed to apply for an advance parole permit at least three months prior to travel outside of the United States in order to re-enter the United States upon the completion of their travels.

    As a result of the changes to DACA, effective as of September 5, 2017, new applications for advance parole travel documents (I-31) will not be accepted. Pending requests for advance parole travel documents will not be approved and filing fees will be refunded.

    USCIS has stated that previously approved grants of advance parole will remain valid and those individuals have the ability to exit and enter the country subject to the dates of the travel document. However, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will retain the full authority it has always exercised in determining the admissibility of any person presenting at the border, including denial of entry to persons in possession of a valid advance parole document. Further, USCIS retains the authority to revoke or terminate an advance parole document at any time, without notice.

    Accordingly, it is the College’s recommendation that any DACA recipients, even those with a valid grant of advance parole, not participate in any college related activities that would require you to travel out of the country, such as study abroad, until further notice. DACA recipients are advised to consult with experienced immigration attorneys and assess the risks before leaving the country.

    Q4. Will employment rights of DACA recipients be terminated?
    A4. Any work permits issued to DACA recipients will remain valid until expiration or termination of your DACA status. To determine when your DACA and work permit expire, look at your I-795 Approval Notice or the date indicated on the bottom of your employment authorization document (EAD or work permit).

    Q5. Will my identification cards, social security cards, and/or driver’s licenses still be valid?
    A5. Generally, your driver’s license or state identification card will be valid until expiration, unless revoked for driving infractions or other related concerns. If your state or residence allows you to use DACA to apply for a license or state ID, you may continue to do so if your DACA grant is still valid.

    Q6. Is there still time for current DACA recipients to file a request to renew their DACA?
    A6. USCIS will only accept renewal requests and associated applications for work permits for the class of individuals described above in the time period described above.

    Q7. What happens when an individual’s DACA benefits expire over the course of the next two years? Will individuals with expired DACA be considered illegally present in the country?
    A7. Current law does not grant any legal status for the class of individuals who are current recipients of DACA. Recipients of DACA are currently unlawfully present in the U.S. with their removal deferred. When their period of deferred action expires or is terminated, their removal will no longer be deferred and they will no longer be eligible for lawful employment.

    Q8. Once an individual’s DACA expires, will their case be referred to immigration or law enforcement entities for enforcement purposes?
    A8. Generally, Information from the DACA program will not be proactively provided to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), CBP, or other law enforcement entities unless the individual poses a risk to national security or he/she meets the criteria for issuance of a Notice to Appear or referral to ICE. This policy may be modified, superseded, or rescinded at any time without notice.

    Q9. Will USCIS share the personal information of individuals whose pending requests are denied proactively with immigration or law enforcement entities for enforcement purposes?
    A9. Generally, Information from the DACA program will not be proactively provided to ICE, CBP, or other law enforcement entities unless the individual poses a risk to national security or he/she meets the criteria for issuance of a Notice to Appear or referral to ICE. This policy may be modified, superseded, or rescinded at any time without notice.

    Q10. Are there pathways to citizenship other than DACA?
    A10. Yes, DACA recipients or those whose applications have been denied or delayed may be eligible for other immigration options that will allow them to work or get a green card. Contact a legitimate agency and/or a licensed immigration attorney for assistance in determining what your options are and beware of scammers and opportunists. (See list of resources and legal services.)

    Q11. Are there alternatives to the rescission of DACA?
    A11. Congress has the authority to amend existing immigration laws. The current White House administration has indicated they are open to a legislative fix before the expiration of the current DACA policy and has given Congress six months to do so. (See additional resources for list of currently proposed bills.)

    Q12. What will happen if Congress does not act?
    A12. DACA will no longer renew the deferred action status for these undocumented individuals and they will revert back to undocumented status.

    Q13. Can DACA recipients whose valid work permit is lost, stolen or destroyed request a new EAD during the phase out?
    A13. If an individual’s still-valid EAD is lost, stolen, or destroyed, they may request a replacement EAD by filing a new Form I-765.

    Q14. How is Manhattan College supporting undocumented students?
    A14. The Manhattan College community is committed to the successful matriculation of all students, regardless of their citizenship status. Manhattan College has mobilized campus resource to address the unique challenges undocumented students face. Those directly impacted by the DACA decision who may be in need of counseling services can call the Counseling Center at (718) 862-7217 or stop in to Miguel Hall 501. Other resources include, but are not limited to:

    Multicultural Student Support Services
    • Dr. Sonny Ago, Assistant Vice President for Student Life: (718) 862-7996
    • Hayden Greene, Director of Multicultural Affairs: (718) 862-8112
    Campus Ministry and Social Action

    Fr. Thomas Franks, Chaplain: (718) 862-7972

    International Student & Scholar Services

    Debra Damico, Director of International Student & Scholar Services: (718) 862-7213

    In addition, Manhattan College has an informal working group of faculty, staff and students who have been meeting to marshal resources and plan activities for those affected by the most recent DACA decision. Meeting dates and times will be publicized on campus and via social media.

    Q15. What should faculty or staff do if a federal or state official requests information regarding a current or former student?
    A15. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) protects the privacy of information contained in student education records. Information from those records may be shared outside of the college only with the written consent of the student or if an exception to FERPA’s consent requirement applies (e.g., directory information, health and safety emergency). Faculty and staff should not, and have no responsibility to, provide information to a federal official requesting immediate information via mail, on a phone call or during an in-person visit. In almost all cases, the college will have at least three working days to respond and faculty and staff should forward requests immediately upon receipt to the College's Office of General Counsel.

    Q16. What information will Manhattan College disclose to the DHS or other law enforcement entities about its undocumented students?
    A16. Manhattan College protects the privacy of student information and records consistent with FERPA. Manhattan College will not release information regarding undocumented student immigration status to DHS or other law enforcement entities, unless legally compelled to do so (e.g., a warrant, subpoena or other court order).

    Q17. Is Manhattan College a sanctuary campus?
    A17. There is no legal definition for sanctuary campus. The “sanctuary campus” model is based on the “sanctuary city” concept. The general idea of “sanctuary” is that the institutional policy of the university or city affirms they will not voluntarily turn over undocumented immigrants to officials representing federal immigration agencies and will not voluntarily assist with immigration enforcement efforts. For example, New Yok City has designated itself a sanctuary city. While Manhattan College has not declared itself a sanctuary campus, it has longstanding policies that provide similar protections. The College does not voluntarily share information on the immigration status of undocumented members of the Manhattan College community, and federal officials attempting to enforce immigration laws on campus are required to obtain a subpoena or judicial warrant. Consistent with NYC policies, Manhattan College’s Office of Public Safety also does not inquire about the immigration status of any Manhattan College-affiliated persons it encounters. (See Q14 and Q15.)

  • Proposed or Pending Legislation Related to DACA

    The BRIDGE Act

    Bar Removal of Individuals Who Dream and Grow Our Economy Act

    Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Dick Durbin (D-IL), along with five others introduced the BRIDGE Act in the Senate and Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO) and seven others introduced the BRIDGE Act in the House of Representatives. The BRDIGE Act is bipartisan legislation whose stated intent is to allow people who are eligible for or who have received work authorization and temporary relief from deportation through DACA to continue living in the U.S. with permission from the federal government. The BRIDGE Act would protect these individuals from deportation and allow them to work legally in the U.S. for three years after their DACA permits expire It does not provide a path to citizenship.

    The DREAM Act

    The Dream Act was first introduced in Congress in 2001, and has been reintroduced many times since with various enhancements. The 2017 version of the Dream Act introduced by Republican Lindsey Graham currently has 10 co-sponsors, including New York Senator and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, This Dream Act would give anyone who arrived in the U.S. before the age of 18 (as long as they had spent the last four years in the country) a 13-year path to citizenship, as long as they meet certain education, work, and/or military requirements. This Dream Act also covers immigrants under Temporary Protected Status (TPS), approximately 300,000 persons who have fled disasters or wars in their home countries.

    The RAC Act

    Recognizing America’s Children Act

    The RAC Act was introduced by Florida representative Carlos Curbelo, has similar DACA education and criminal requirements, but would allow individuals who arrived in the US before age 16 to apply for conditional permanent residency, followed by an application for a green card after another 5 years. Under the proposed RAC Act, if applicants drop out of school or become unemployed, they may lose legal status. The RAC Act does not cover individuals under TPS.

    The American Hope Act

    The Hope Act was sponsored by Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill, with backing and support from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. To be eligible, individuals must have entered the U.S. before age 18 and there are no education, work or military requirements. Additionally, applicants are required to have been in the U.S. continuously as of December 31, 2016, a departure from the Dream Act requirement of 4 years. Eligible individuals can apply for conditional permanent residency, valid for up to eight years, and after three years can apply for lawful permanent residence status. After a total of five years, they can apply for U.S. citizenship.