This week, the Federal appeals court held that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy violates immigration law and ordered a lower court review of the Biden administration’s revisions to DACA, which now leaves the future of DACA on shaky ground. As you know, DACA provides a permanent pathway to citizenship, allowing students to pursue their educational goals without fear of deportation. While the recent decision now puts the DACA program in limbo, we will work with our advocates to keep the protections for students in place and ensure that some of our most vulnerable students continue to have higher educational opportunities.
As an ardent supporter of first generation and undocumented students, this decision is unsettling. Our mission to support all students to achieve their academic and career goals, regardless of immigration status remains a priority for the South Orange County Community College District. It is important to make clear that while the court’s decision does continue to prohibit approval of first-time DACA applications, it has no immediate impact on the current DACA students at Irvine Valley College and Saddleback College who continue to be protected by the program. Our DACA students and their families are valued members of our college communities, and we will continue to welcome and support them in their educational pursuits.
Thank you for standing together in solidarity to support our DACA students. Together we can continue a culture of inclusion and equity that makes us all feel welcome, seen, heard, and valued.
Julianna M. Barnes, Ed.D.