FAQ: Information about DACA

On September 5, 2017, the Trump administration announced the rescission of the June 15, 2012, memorandum creating the Deferred Action for Child Arrivals (“DACA”) program.  Below is a summary of the DACA program and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the rescission. If you have specific questions about your personal situation, you should not rely on this document for legal advice, but instead should consult an immigration attorney. Please contact MIT’s Office of the General Counsel or the Chancellor's Office at daca@mit.edu for referrals and further guidance.

Summary of DACA

DACA allowed younger people who are not in the U.S. legally to apply for two years of deferred action on deportation proceedings if they (1) came to the U.S. before they turned 16; (2) have lived here continuously since June 2007; (3) are under the age of 31 as of June 2012; and (4) have no significant criminal history and are otherwise not a threat to national security.  Individuals who obtain DACA approval can also apply for an Employment Authorization Document (“EAD”) that allows them to work legally in the U.S. while in DACA status.  Under the DACA program, individuals were permitted to apply to renew their DACA status and EADs every two years.

Now that DACA has been rescinded, will MIT still be permitted to admit, enroll, and house undocumented students? Are they eligible for financial aid?

DACA status has never been a condition for MIT to admit undocumented students, and that has not changed now that DACA has been rescinded.  There are currently no state or federal laws prohibiting MIT from admitting and enrolling undocumented students, nor does MIT have a legal obligation to notify immigration officials of the presence of undocumented students on campus.  MIT believes it is also permitted to house undocumented students in its residence halls.

Although undocumented students are not eligible for federal financial aid, MIT ensures that undocumented students receive sufficient private and MIT aid to meet their full financial need.

In short, as Chancellor Barnhart recently wrote to the MIT community, “our commitment to [our DACA students] and to their education will not change.”

I currently have DACA status. Will that status automatically be terminated now that DACA has been rescinded?

No. If you currently have DACA status, that status will not be terminated solely based on the rescission of DACA. Your DACA status will continue in effect for the remaining duration of your current DACA validity period. Of course, as before the rescission, in order to remain protected by DACA, you still must continue to satisfy DACA's other requirements.

I have applied for DACA for the first time, but my application has not yet been acted upon. Will I be eligible for DACA status?

The Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) has announced that it will continue to adjudicate, on a case-by-case basis, properly filed applications for initial DACA status and EADs that were accepted as of September 5, 2017.  Applications for initial DACA status filed after September 5, 2017, will be denied.

I am already in DACA status, but I would like to renew my status for another two years. Can I?

As with initial applications, properly filed renewal applications that were accepted as of September 5, 2017, will be adjudicated on a case-by-case basis.  In addition, if your DACA status expires between September 5, 2017, and March 5, 2018, you can apply for renewal if your application is properly filed and accepted by October 5, 2017.  No other renewal applications will be accepted.

If I have DACA status, will I be permitted to travel outside the U.S.?

As part of its rescission of DACA, DHS has announced that it will not approve any new applications for advance parole (a specific form of travel document allowing DACA beneficiaries to travel outside and return to the U.S. without applying for a visa) under standards associated with the DACA program, and it will administratively close all pending applications for DACA advance parole. DHS will honor previously approved applications for advance parole, but still will exercise discretion in determining admissibility of any person into the U.S.

Will DHS use information that I submitted with my DACA application against me in any deportation proceedings?

DHS has stated that, as a general rule, information provided in DACA application requests will not be proactively provided to other law enforcement entities (including Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection) for the purpose of immigration enforcement proceedings unless the individual who submitted the information poses a risk to national security or public safety, or meets certain other specified criteria.

Will the MIT Police become involved in enforcing immigration laws against MIT’s undocumented students? When might MIT share information about undocumented students with outside law enforcement agencies?

MIT Police have a longstanding practice of not inquiring about individual’s immigration status, our officers do not enforce federal immigration laws, and law enforcement officials seeking to enter our campus are expected to alert MIT Police first. There is currently a DHS policy memo that, absent exigent circumstances, requires certain high level approvals before “enforcement actions” can be taken at “sensitive locations,” including colleges and universities. Enforcement actions include arrests, interviews, searches, and surveillance, but the memo does not prohibit obtaining records, serving subpoenas, or conducting compliance and certification visits. That policy was not affected by the rescission of DACA. Pursuant to FERPA and MIT policy, MIT does not share information on the immigration status of undocumented students to any third party unless legally required by subpoena, warrant, or court order, or if approved by the student about whom the information relates.

These FAQs are provided as general guidance and do not constitute legal advice or official policy statements of DHS or any other governmental agency.  More information about the rescission of DACA can be found at https://www.dhs.gov/topic/deferred-action-childhood-arrivals-daca.