Recent DACA decision prompts renewed calls for permanent solution

July 19, 2021

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — On Friday (July 16) a federal judge in Texas issued a ruling to block all new application approvals for the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program nationwide. The ruling does not affect the status of any current DACA recipients. 

Penn State, through its Office of Government and Community Relations, continues to seek from Congress a permanent solution to address a path to citizenship for these children already living in the United States. Known as “Dreamers” (named after the Congressional DREAM act that failed to pass several times), these undocumented children and young adults have lived and gone to school in the U.S. — and most identify as American. In the past, DACA has provided an avenue for these children to remain in the U.S. and avoid deportation.  

“The hundreds of thousands of individuals impacted by this decision deserve a solution,” said Penn State President Eric J. Barron. “As an educational institution and a welcoming community that values diversity, equity and inclusion, we have continued to follow this issue and are committed to the education of all of our students. We understand the concerns both here at Penn State and across the country, and we continue to urge Congress to pass legislation that offers a pathway to citizenship.”

Ultimately, Congress is responsible for finding a permanent legislative solution. Penn State leaders — frequently partnering with other universities and higher education organizations — have formally petitioned Congress several times to address DACA and ensure that students across the country can continue to be contributors to our universities, communities and nation.

"While the court’s order does not now affect current DACA recipients, it nonetheless leaves hundreds of thousands of young people in limbo, uncertain of their futures,” said Barron. “My administration stands in support of efforts to find a legislative solution that will provide a more certain path forward, free of discrimination and one that restores certainty for the individuals impacted.”

DACA was established under the Obama administration in 2012 and approximately 700,000 youth are estimated to have been granted temporary protection under the program, and hundreds of thousands more are deemed eligible.

Penn State will continue to monitor this situation closely and provide resources for students. The Center for Immigrants’ Rights Clinic within Penn State Law also offers resources.

Last Updated July 19, 2021