City Colleges promises to support DACA students as much as possible. Photo by: Anthony Viola

By: Katie Herchenroeder

On September 5, President Donald Trump tweeted, “Congress, get ready to do your job – DACA!” He followed up, saying they had six months to do so.

On Wednesday, September 6, Interim President Vince Boudreau addressed the students of the City College of New York about the administration’s stance on what occurred, as well as how to move forward.

“We have 6 months. Let’s not waste a single day merely bemoaning the stubborn and cruel decision to end DACA and throw the lives and families of nearly 800,000 Americans into chaos and insecurity,” Boudreau shared. “We have 6 months to develop a plan of action to defend our Dreamers, and that means we must get busy from day one.”

He proclaimed, “We are not neutral on this question, and so I do not write in the spirit of neutrality. On this issue, our campus is a partisan campus. Period.”

Boudreau outlined three “avenues of action”:

First, we speak out in protest.
Second, we must apply pressure.
Third, we must safeguard our Dreamers.

These routes will be elaborated upon thoroughly during “a series of meetings, some small, some large and public,” he pledged.

The first of these meetings took place on Tuesday, September 12. Students, professors, and the administration came together not only to feel the severity of this current historical moment, but to step into a plan dedicated to the safety of CCNY students.

Several individuals stood tall to present their heartfelt comments and ideas for the future. One student asserted that this is not only DACA recipients’ fight, but that it is ours as a college too.

Interim President Boudreau facilitates informational DACA meeting for CCNY community. Photo by: Katie Herchenroeder

So, here are the rights that DACA students and faculty still have, as well as some things that all of us could know to help this situation:

What Dreamers Should Know for Now
Source: The American Immigration Lawyers Association

1. If You Do Not Have DACA or a DACA Applica on Pending.
You cannot apply. The program has been terminated and new applications are no longer being accepted by USCIS.

2. If You Have DACA That Expires on or Before March 5, 2018.
If you have DACA and a work permit that expires on or before March 5, 2018, you can apply for a 2-year renewal, but your application must be received on or before October 5, 2017.

3. If You Have DACA That Expires After March 5, 2018.
If your DACA and work permit expire after March 5, 2018, you are not eligible for an extension and your DACA, work authorization, and protection from deportation will expire on the date shown on your DACA approval notice and work permit.

4. If You Have a DACA Application Pending.
If you have a DACA application that was received at USCIS on or before September 5, 2017, your application will continue to be processed.

5. If You Have DACA and a Valid Advance Parole Travel Document.
If you have DACA and have a currently valid advance parole document, you may still use the document to travel and return to the U.S. as long as you return BEFORE the document expires. However, even with a valid travel document, CBP can still refuse to let you in. Before you travel, speak to a qualified immigration lawyer.

6. If You Have an Advance Parole Travel Document Application Pending.
USCIS will no longer process or approve applications for advance parole for DACA recipients. If you have an application for DACA-based advance parole pending as of September 5, 2017, USCIS will close the application and return the filing fees to you.

7. Your DACA Can Be Terminated at Any Time.
Even with valid DACA and a valid work permit, the government can terminate your DACA and work permit at any time if it believes you are no longer eligible or for any other reason.

8. Talk to a Lawyer.
Talk to an immigration lawyer as soon as possible. If you don’t have an immigration lawyer, find one at www.ailalawyer.org. You may be eligible for another type of status. Members of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) report that up to 30% of people screened for DACA were eligible for something better and more permanent. Before making any decisions which could impact your future status, speak to a lawyer.

9. Do Not Talk to a Notario.
Notarios are not lawyers and are not trained to fully understand the complex U.S. immigration system. Some notarios will take your money and give you bad advice. Protect yourself and your family by trusting a qualified immigration lawyer with your legal decisions.

What to Do if ICE is At Your Door

1. Keep the door closed and ask if they are Immigration Agents, or from ICE.

2. Opening the door does not give the agents permission to come inside, but it is safer to speak to ICE through the door.

3. If the agents don’t speak your language, ask for an interpreter.

4. If the agents want to enter, ask them if they have a warrant signed by a judge. If ICE agents do not have a warrant signed by a judge, you may refuse to open the door or let them in. An administrative warrant of removal from immigration authorities is not enough.

5. If they say they have a warrant, ask them to slip the warrant under the door. Look at the top and at the signature line to see if it was issued by a court and signed by a judge. Only a court/judge warrant is enough for entry into your premises. One issued by DHS or ICE and signed by a DHS or ICE employee is not.

Legal Resource at CCNY

Citizenship Now: City College Immigration Center
North Academic Center, Rm. 1-206
New York, NY, 10031
Tel. 212-650-6620

The nation is in an unbelievably turbulent time. From the threat of deportation to neo-Nazis, it can sometimes be hard to recognize the country our students call home. CCNY is dedicated to making those who come to this institution to learn, evolve, and add to a nation that treats them so poorly, feel as safe as they possibly can right now.

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