DACA: Frequently Asked Questions

Provided by the California State University Office of the Chancellor, Feb. 10, 2017.

What is DACA?

On June 15, 2012, the Secretary of Homeland Security announced that certain people who came to the United States as children and meet several key criteria may request consideration of deferred action (with respect to any immigration enforcement) for a period of two years, subject to renewal, and would then be eligible for work authorization. DACA is not amnesty. Each case is assessed to ensure the applicant meets the criteria and poses no security threat.

DACA allows students to pursue higher education without the fear of being arrested or deported. Continuing DACA would allow students to continue to pursue a college education and contribute to their communities and the nation.

What will happen with DACA now that Donald Trump is president?

It is still unknown at this time. During his campaign, President Trump said that he intends to end the DACA program. But since the election, he has not expressed his precise plans for DACA.

If the DACA program is eliminated, will the CSU enforce federal immigration and hold requests?

The CSU will continue to comply with federal immigration laws, but the enforcement of those laws is currently the responsibility of the federal government, not the CSU. CSU campus police do not contact, detain, question or arrest individuals solely on the basis of their being— or suspected of being — a person who lacks documentation. Absent a legal requirement, CSU’s actions in this area will not change and the CSU will not enter into agreements with federal authorities to enforce federal immigration and hold requests.

If the DACA program is eliminated, will DACA students still be able to receive state and institutional financial aid?

State and institutional aid is not dependent on DACA approval. The financial aid available to undocumented AB 540 students who may also be DACA-approved is authorized by state law and comes from state and CSU sources. Therefore, a potential repeal of DACA has no effect on the availability of an undocumented AB 540 student’s financial aid under state law.

What would happen to DACA students studying abroad?

If the DACA program is eliminated, it is highly likely that DACA students who are abroad will not be allowed to re-enter the United States. Given that possibility, in November, the CSU advised DACA students studying abroad to consider returning to the United States prior to Jan. 20, given the uncertainty of the situation.

Are CSUs “sanctuary” campuses?

The CSU is committed to providing a safe and welcoming learning community for all students. The term “sanctuary” is a confusing term that lacks a universal legal or educational definition and could lead to misunderstanding and misplaced reliance.