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Immigration Update Event Overview: Supreme Court Ruling on DACA

July 10, 2020

July 1, 2020

UCI Office of Global Engagement recently hosted an immigration update event which brought together a range of experts to share their insights and perspectives and allow UCI community members to ask questions about U.S. regulations that may affect international students and scholars. The meeting addressed concerns about the U.S. Supreme Court’s Ruling on DACA, blocking plans to dismantle the program.

Event Recap:

Stephen Lee, Associate Dean for Faculty Research and Development and Professor of Law, UCI, shared information about the 2017 case in which the Trump administration took an aggressive approach to dismantling DACA.

  • The administration claimed DACA was bad, unlawful policy.

  • The Supreme Court found the reason for rescinding the program to be arbitrary and capricious.

  • It is not impossible for DACA to be rescinded later, but sufficient reason is necessary.

  • As of now, pleas to rescind the program are not based on rational measures, and the chief justice does not appreciate discrimination on the basis of race.

Mónica Ramírez Almadani, Visiting Assistant Clinical Professor of Law and Co-Director, Immigrant Rights Clinic, UCI, defined the specifics of the case.

  • The case started in September 2017 after a rescission decision was filed in northern California.

  • Coalition is key, and to achieve this, the case joined many others, including San Jose, DACA members, UCI Law School students, the Eastern district of New York, NAACP, NFT, United Food Workers, Microsoft, and others.

  • In order to reach higher courts, storytelling and narrative are important to describe the impact that taking DACA away would have on universities, employers, families, and communities.

  • It would be unpopular to rescind the program now.

Angela C. Chen, Director, UCI Dream Center, explained why it still doesn’t feel like a victory on a daily basis.

  • This ruling just seems like a delay of what the administration will try to do.

  • Half of the students at UCI don’t have Deferred Action under DACA, so they are still subject to deportation reprieve.

  • She is hoping for a return to what was passable in 2012 – accepting new applications through advanced parole.

  • A large, new group of students can qualify, but this would cost up to $175,000, so funding is needed.

Notes from Q&A:

  • Wait to see what the administration does first before applying if you are worried about being exposed.

  • Start putting together materials that prove you have been here for the required amount of time in order to speed up the process.

  • Reach out to the UCI DREAM Center for free legal advice to UCI students and families.

  • There is a scholarship to cover the cost of applying for DACA, but it is not unlimited.

UCI is committed to supporting our community members from around the world who share the values of learning and discovery to make the world a better place. The UC system complies with applicable laws and regulations and actively advocates for policies that further its academic mission.

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