Today may be unnerving for some of our campus community, as the U.S. Supreme Court considers the fate of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Since 2012, roughly 700,000 undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children have been protected from deportation by DACA, which enables access to education and work visas for many young undocumented immigrants.
Now the Supreme Court begins hearing oral arguments on the Trump administration’s decision to end the program. A ruling on DACA’s future is expected spring 2020.
Diversity is a pride point of CU Denver, and we want our DACA and undocumented students to know that we support them, that they are welcome here, and that resources are available on campus. Below is a message from Dominic F. Martinez, EdD, senior director of CU Denver’s Office of Inclusion and Outreach and Undocumented Student Services.
Today, as the U.S. Supreme Court begins to hear arguments on whether the current presidential administration acted justifiably in ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, we as a community stand with our students and families that may be impacted by the court’s decision. The university seeks the richness that diverse communities contribute to learning, research, and service endeavors. Through strong collegiality and mentoring, our shared humanity motivates us to create an inclusive and respectful ethos, characterized by empathy, compassion, and nurturing environments.
We strongly believe that immigration status should not exclude anyone from pursuing dreams of a career through higher education or impede ability to contribute to the community’s health and future. We believe that motivated DACA and undocumented students have an invaluable experience unique from other students. When allowed to put these experiences into practice through meaningful work, undocumented citizens can help meet the rising demand for a diverse workforce and assist in closing the educational and health disparity gaps among diverse populations.
CU Denver is dedicated to supporting all students. Below are some examples of the work we are doing.
For our undocumented students, DACA students, and Advancing Students for a Stronger Economy Tomorrow (ASSET) status community members, Undocumented Student Services has been collaborating with internal and external partners to develop the Holistic Support System for Undocumented Student. Our goal is to advocate for continuous access to educational experiences and degrees, while providing campus-wide training on how to support our undocumented populations.
The CU Denver Financial Aid & Scholarships Office has been working with the Colorado Department of Higher Education (CDHE) and other colleges and universities in Colorado to create a form that collects information needed to determine eligibility for work-study and the Colorado Student Grant. Per House Bill 19-1196, state financial aid extends to students who qualify for ASSET status.
For students who are ineligible for Federal Student Aid, there is now an Alternate Aid Form (AA Form) to help us better understand students’ financial needs. The university will use the information when considering students for need-based scholarships.
Students who need support are encouraged to contact the Undocumented Student Services Office at USS@ucdenver.edu or 303-724-8003. No matter the outcome of the court hearing, as a community we support our students.
Dominic F. Martinez, EdD
Senior Director | Office of Inclusion and Outreach | Undocumented Student Services | University of Colorado Denver