‘DCCCD stands with you’: Chancellor speaks out on DACA

Dallas County Community College Chancellor Dr. Joe May released a statement on Sept. 5 commenting on President Trump’s decision to end DACA.

Read his full statement below:

With the discontinuation of DACA and the six-month period during which the President has charged Congress to pass a legislative solution, some students in the Dallas County Community College District who are self-described as “undocumented” will be able to continue their studies uninterrupted.

We know that these are scary and uncertain times for those students, but I want to assure them that repealing DACA should not have an impact on DREAMERs in Texas.

Here’s why:

While DACA has focused not only on allowing students to enroll in college nationwide, it also focused on allowing DACA individuals an opportunity to work, in some cases apply for a driver’s license, and deferred their potential deportation.

Remember, when DACA was signed, Texas already had Noriega in place, and DCCCD led the way even before Noriega was passed. Noriega solely focuses on treating undocumented students as “in-state” residents for the purpose of tuition.

Finally, it’s important to note that students must meet specific eligibility requirements under Noriega. Under DACA, every individual who qualified and met the requirements had to apply and pay a fee for the 2-year “program.”

DCCCD stands ready to help students attend college under the Noriega Bill, which is state law, whether or not DACA continues. We have a strong history of supporting our students and their educational goals and dreams.

The Administration has announced the end of DACA
• Today President Trump, via Attorney General Jeff Sessions, announced that DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, will be phased out.

• DACA has provided many individuals, brought here at a very young age (average age of 6), with the opportunity to attend college and apply for a job, while it offered peace of mind that they would not be deported.

• The President has stated that he will provide Congress with a six-month window to act and assist those undocumented individuals; after six months, DACA will end.
• During these uncertain and potentially tumultuous times, I want to assure our undocumented students that they are still welcome here at DCCCD. I want to say to each of those students that the end of DACA doesn’t stop you from achieving your higher education dreams here in Dallas County.

• As a reminder, 10 years before DACA, the state of Texas passed a law, HB 1403 — or the Noriega Bill, which provides in-state tuition to certain non-immigrant and undocumented students who met the following guidelines:
o Resided in Texas with a parent or guardian while attending high school in Texas;
o Graduated from a public or private high school or received a GED in Texas;
o Resided in Texas for the three years leading to graduation or receipt of a GED; and
o Provided their institutions a signed affidavit indicating an intent to apply for permanent resident status as soon as able to do so.

• The Noriega bill’s sole focus was to provide a path to affordable higher education. It is not an immigration law.

• As the national debate and conversation surrounding DACA continues, DCCCD stands ready to help. We have a strong history of supporting our students and their educational goals and dreams.

• Let me be clear: Our undocumented students are not alone. DCCCD stands with you. I stand with you.

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