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DACAmented and Undocumented Student Resources

The University of Northern Iowa is committed to student success, which includes providing a campus culture that reflects and values the evolving diversity of society and promotes inclusion. As a campus community we strive to fully support all of our students, including undocumented students, families and those most directly affected by the recent phase-out of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). We have compiled information and resources to help students and their families navigate these barriers while continuing to move toward their educational goals.

The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities has developed a national online resource to serve DACA/DREAMers and their families. It is titled the Community Resource Center for DACA/DREAMers and HSIs and is available in app form by searching HACU CRC in the App Store or Google Play.

The UNI Alumni Magazine recently published an article titled I don't belong here highlighting student and alumni experiences related to DACA and immigration policy.  Read to learn more about how these issues impact our students and their families, along with information about campus and community support.

University of Northern Iowa Resources

Letter from President Mark Nook celebrating the Supreme Court decision to uphold DACA and committing to the work ahead

Letter from Iowa Regent university presidents to Iowa Congressional delegation advocating for action on DACA and legislation to protect Dreamers

Statement of support from President Mark Nook

American Council on Education letter in support of legislation to protect Dreamers released October 19, 2017, signed by UNI as well as 800 other colleges and universities

Statement in support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and our undocumented immigrant students, The Pomona College Letter, signed by the University of Northern Iowa along with 545 other colleges and university presidents

Counseling Services, 103 Health Services, 319-273-2676

Center for Multicultural Education, 109 Maucker Union, 319-273-2250

Dean of Students, 118 Gilchrist, 319-273-2332

Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships, 105 Gilchrist Hall, 319-273-2700

Office of the Registrar, 115 Gilchrist Hall, 319-273-2241

International Students and Scholars Office, 113 Maucker Union, 319-273-6421

University Human Resource Services, 27 Gilchrist Hall, 319-273-2422

Student Success and Retention, 118 Gilchrist Hall, 319-273-2332 (ask for Kristin)

 

Deferred Action (DACA) Program and Dream Act Legislative Information

Current status of DACA: https://www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/consideration-of-deferred-action-for-childhood-arrivals-daca

American Council on Education summary information on U.S. House passing American Dream and Promise Act, March 22, 2021 https://www.acenet.edu/news-room/Pages/House-Approves-Dream-Act-Sending-Bill-to-Senate.aspx

Financial Information and Resources

Educational and financial resources for Latino students and parents from the Iowa Department of Human Rights: https://humanrights.iowa.gov/resources-latino-students-and-parents#overlay-context=cas/la

Scholarships and resources for undocumented students: http://genprogress.org/voices/2017/07/25/45669/resources-undocumented-students-higher-education/

Iowa College Aid resources for DREAMers: https://www.iowacollegeaid.gov/content/resources-latin-students

Scholarships available to undocumented students (see pages 38-42): https://www2.ed.gov/about/overview/focus/supporting-undocumented-youth.pdf

Tuition and financial aid policies: https://professionals.collegeboard.org/guidance/financial-aid/undocumented-students

 

Legal Information and Assistance

Iowa immigration service providers and related resources: https://humanrights.iowa.gov/immigration-resources#overlay-context=cas/la (see page two of this sublink for immigration lawyers based in Waterloo/Cedar Falls)

Immigrant Rights Under a Trump Presidency, FAQs from MALDEF: https://www.maldef.org/assets/pdf/MALDEF_Immigrants_Rights_Under_a_Trump_Presidency.pdf

ICE policy on sensitive locations: https://www.ice.gov/doclib/ero-outreach/pdf/10029.2-policy.pdf

Free legal help through Educators for Fair Consideration (E4FC): https://immigrantsrising.org/legalintake/

 

Faculty and Staff Resources for Supporting Undocumented Youth

Tips for higher education faculty and staff (see pages 17 -  21) https://www2.ed.gov/about/overview/focus/supporting-undocumented-youth.pdf 

United We Dream training presentation for educators: https://unitedwedream.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/UndocuPeer-Curriculum_PPT_Final_Aug-2015.pdf

Resources for educators to support undocumented students and families: https://west.edtrust.org/undocumented-students-toolkit/

College advising for undocumented students: https://www.gse.harvard.edu/news/uk/17/01/opening-access

 

Information for Parents:

How to Support College-Bound Undocumented Students: https://immigrantsrising.org/resource/overview/

 

Frequently Asked Questions*

  1. Is my DACA status still valid? Yes, your DACA is valid until its expiration date. DACA and work permits (employment authorization documents) will remain valid until their expiration date. To determine when your DACA and work permit expire, check your I-795 Approval Notice and the bottom of your employment authorization document (EAD).

  2. Can I still apply for DACA?  Effective December 7, 2020, as the result of recent court decisions, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) began accepting first-time requests for consideration of deferred action under DACA, DACA renewal requests, and application for advance parole documents.  On July 16, 2021, a federal district court held that the DACA policy "is illegal" and issued a permanent injunction prohibiting the government's continued administration of DACA.  This court temporarily stayed its order with regard to individuals who obtained DACA on or before July 16, 2021.  According to a July 19, 2021 press release from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS):  
    Consistent with this order, DHS will continue to accept the filing of both initial and renewal DACA requests, as well as accompanying requests for employment authorization. However, pursuant to the July 16, 2021 order from the Southern District of Texas, DHS is prohibited from granting initial DACA requests and accompanying requests for employment authorization. Also consistent with that order, DHS will continue to grant or deny renewal DACA requests, according to existing policy.
    See https://www.dhs.gov/news/2021/07/19/update-deferred-action-childhood-arr....

    Individuals who are interested in filing a first-time application for DACA or a renewal application should seek legal counsel regarding their legal options as soon as possible. Updated information on the status of DACA is available on the Department of Homeland Security webpage.
     

  3. If I already have DACA can I renew it? Yes. Individuals who were previously granted deferred action under DACA may request renewal. Visit the following link for more detailed information:  https://www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/consideration-of-deferred-action-for-childhood-arrivals-daca

  4. Can undocumented students, including former and current DACA recipients, enroll at the University of Northern Iowa? Yes. The state of Iowa allows students, regardless of immigration status, to enroll in public colleges and universities.

  5. Can undocumented students, including former and current DACA recipients, qualify for financial aid and scholarships? Undocumented students are not eligible for federal financial aid. However private scholarship funding is available to undocumented students. Admitted students interested in attending UNI can still complete and submit the university scholarship application. See the financial aid information and resources section of this web page for links to these programs.

  6. If my DACA status expires can I continue as a student at the University of Northern Iowa? Yes. You are still a student at the University of Northern Iowa and we are committed to supporting you in meeting your educational goals.

  7. If I am stopped by Iowa police, am I required to show proof of my immigration status? No, the state of Iowa has no “show me your papers” law.

  8. Where can I find access to immigration legal assistance? Visit the Iowa Department of Human Rights Immigration Resources page for legal resources, including a link to immigration lawyers in Iowa.  Note that page two of this document lists two immigration lawyers based on Waterloo/Cedar Falls. 

*Portions of this FAQ copied with permission from Iowa State University.