DACA & Undocumented Students
Swarthmore College is committed to supporting and expanding opportunities for Deferred Action Childhood Arrivals (DACA )and Undocumented students. We offer supportive, sensitive and personalized services. The college offers a wide variety of resources and programs empowering students to help reach their academic and personal goals.
The International Student Center serves as a resource center for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and undocumented students. We welcome and support our students without regard to their immigration status. We are working diligently to assure all our students continue to feel welcome and safe. Please find some resources below:
From U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services:
- Consideration of DACA Process
- Travel while on DACA (see Q57)
- Form I-131, Application for Travel Document
Organizations for DACA and Undocumented Students
- United We Dream: The largest immigrant youth-led organization in the nation.
- We Own the Dream: A national campaign to help aspiring Americans brought to this country as children take advantage of the opportunity to apply for DACA and work permits.
- Educators for Fair Consideration (E4FC): Aids low-income immigrant students in their pursuit of a U.S. college education. View the Resource Guide for more information.
- Association of International Educators
Fee Assistance Programs:
Pursuant to a June 15, 2012, memorandum issued by the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, individuals who came to the United States before they were 16 years of age and who meet certain other conditions will be considered for relief from removal from the country or from being placed into removal proceedings. Those who can prove through verifiable documentation that they meet the criteria will be eligible to receive deferred action on a discretionary, case-by-case basis, for a period of two years, subject to renewal, and will be eligible to apply for work authorization. This process is referred to as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
On June 5, 2014, the Department of Homeland Security announced the process for individuals to renew enrollment in the DACA program. According to the notice, "U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has submitted to the Federal Register an updated form to allow individuals previously enrolled in DACA, to renew their deferral for a period of two years. At the direction of the Secretary, effective immediately, USCIS will begin accepting renewal requests. USCIS will also continue to accept requests for DACA from individuals who have not previously sought to access the program. Individuals may request DACA renewal if they continue to meet the initial criteria and these additional guidelines:
- Did not depart the United States on or after Aug. 15, 2012, without advance parole;
- Have continuously resided in the United States since they submitted their most recent DACA request that was approved; and
- Have not been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor or three or more misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.”
"The renewal process begins by filing the new version of Form I-821D “Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals,” Form I-765 “Application for Employment Authorization,” and the I-765 worksheet. There is a filing and biometrics (fingerprints and photo) fee associated with Form I-765 totaling $495. As with an initial request, USCIS will conduct a background check when processing DACA renewals."
Note: According to DACA renewal guidance, USCIS reminds DACA recipients that: "If your previous period of deferred action expires before you receive a renewal of deferred action under DACA, you will accrue unlawful presence and will not be authorized to work for any time between the periods of deferred action. For this reason, USCIS encourages you to submit your request for renewal 120 days before your current period of deferred action under DACA expires."
Caution: Deferred action is a discretionary benefit for individuals who would otherwise be removable from the United States. USCIS will decide applications on a case-by-case basis. Although student advisers may wish to be generally aware of how the program works, individuals who wish to assess their eligibility for DACA or DACA-related benefits like advance parole travel authorization, or to apply for or renew DACA benefits, should be counseled to consult an experienced immigration lawyer or recognized/accredited organization or representative for legal advice or for legal assistance in applying for this benefit. Individuals who believe they are eligible should also be aware of immigration scams. USCIS urges individuals to visit www.uscis.gov/avoidscams for tips on filing forms, reporting scams and finding accredited legal services. Advisers may also want to direct people to the American Immigration Lawyers Association's (AILA) AILA Consumer Advisory: Deferred Action for Certain Young Immigrants: Don’t Get Scammed!