Community College of Aurora reaffirms support for DACA and undocumented students


DAWN | Community College of Aurora officials this week pledged their support for immigrant and undocumented students in light of a recent Federal Court ruling that the DACA program is illegal.

“To our CCA students who are DACA beneficiaries and / or immigrant students: know that you matter. You are valued. You belong, ”new college president Mordecai Brownlee said in a post on the college website. “The CCA is honored that you have entrusted your academic development to our establishment and we are ready to support you. “

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, is an executive order issued by the Obama administration that allows undocumented immigrants who arrived in the United States under the age of 16 to apply for a deportation stay two-year renewable with a work permit. . There are approximately 700,000 DACA recipients, according to federal records, approximately 14,000 in Colorado.

Since its inception, the program has withstood many legal challenges. Last week’s decision halted new applications for the program, although the status of people who currently have DACA has not yet changed. The Biden administration said it would challenge the ruling, pointing to a possible Supreme Court ruling.

Colorado Community College System Chancellor Joe Garcia signed a letter urging Congress to pass the DREAM Act, clearly indicating the public system’s support for DACA students at Colorado colleges.

State community colleges, including CCA, do not track the number of undocumented students enrolled, but former president Betsy Oudenhoven said previously The Sentinel As an estimate, hundreds of CCA students are DACA beneficiaries.

The college has a task force designed to serve undocumented students and, during the pandemic, worked to find ways to support students who could not apply for federal aid. The ACC recently partnered with the Mexican Consulate General to award $ 19,500 in scholarships to students of Mexican nationality or of Mexican origin.

“The most important needs of most students are financial support and student support services,” said a press release announcing the scholarship. “These needs are even greater for Mexican students and of Mexican descent who are undocumented or have DACA status because they are not eligible for federal financial aid, federal loans, the first federal funding from the CARES law or work-study opportunities. “

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