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Info and Resources for Undocumented Students

The following content does not substitute for the advice of an immigration expert. However, it may be helpful for students considering what to do next. 

What do we know?

On September 5, 2017, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Trump Administration would be rescinding Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), and without congressional action, DACA will fully expire on March 5, 2018.

On January 9, 2018, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California issued an order that allowed current DACA holders to renew their DACA status. While the ruling did not permit those who have never held DACA status to apply for it, it did allow current DACA holders to renew their status for two years. On February 13, 2018, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York issued a similar order.

This includes:

  • Those whose DACA work permits were set to expire after March 5, 2018.
  • Those whose DACA work permits expired between September 5 and March 5, and missed the original renewal window.
  • Those whose DACA work permits expired in the year prior to the September 5, 2017 announcement.

On February 26, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court denied a Trump administration request to review the rulings allowing for DACA renewals, which could have paved the way for DACA to expire on March 5, as the President had announced last September.

Instead, the administration’s appeals will need to follow the standard process, and now move to the US Court of Appeals. This likely means that DACA will remain in effect for at least several more months, and provides current DACA recipients whose status is expiring with additional time to renew their status. The extension also provides Congress with additional time to attempt to negotiate a longer-term solution.

NYU urges all DACA recipients who had not previously renewed their status to immediately contact the NYU Immigrant Defense Initiative to begin their renewal process as soon as possible.

I currently have DACA. Will I still be able to work with my DACA work permit?

Absent congressional authorization to continue DACA, those with DACA work permits would not be able to work legally in the US following the expiration of their authorization under the program.

My DACA is expiring before March 5, 2018. What should I do?

You are strongly encouraged to apply for a renewal as soon as possible. Please contact NYU’s Immigrant Defense Initiative so they may help you navigate the process.

Is there funding available to help cover my renewal fee?

If you are renewing your DACA authorization, the Tejani Immigrant Pathways Fund has been established to help eligible undocumented students and staff pay for DACA application fees. The Fund is open to all current NYU students and staff, who are under considerable financial hardship.  Applications for support from the Tejani Immigrant Pathways Fund may be mailed to the Immigrant Defense Initiative, 245 Sullivan St., 5th Fl., New York, NY, 10012, or emailed to immigrant.defense@law.nyu.edu.  Given the impending October 5 deadline, applications will be reviewed promptly.

Can I continue to work if and when DACA or TPS is revoked?

If DACA or TPS is revoked, we recommend students to speak with an attorney about legal options that may then exist. The NYU Immigrant Defense Initiative offers free legal screenings and referrals for NYU students and staff who are undocumented (with or without DACA) or who are otherwise at risk of deportation. The NYU Immigrant Defense Initiative is a project of NYU Law School’s Immigrant Rights Clinic, under Washington Square Legal Services, Inc., in partnership with Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP. You can also explore additional legal services available in NYC.

Will I lose my financial aid package if my DACA is revoked?

Your benefits remain in place because these are private benefits. If you have further questions about your eligibility with regards to your current package, please speak with a Financial Aid counselor in the StudentLink Center.

Can local law enforcement officials follow and enforce immigration laws?

New York City officials are not responsible for enforcing federal immigration law. The New York City Police Department and the Department of Corrections currently only honor immigration requests to hold someone in custody for federal immigration authorities if (1) Immigration and Customs Enforcement — also known as ICE — presents a warrant issued by a federal judge establishing that there is probable cause to take the person into custody, and (2) the person has been convicted of a "violent or serious crime" within 5 years of the arrest or is a possible match on the terrorist watch list. However, if someone is arrested and fingerprinted in New York City, or anywhere in the United States, those fingerprints are automatically shared with ICE and may trigger an ICE investigation and future removal proceedings.

The NYPD may also hold individuals with detainers for up to 48 hours (excluding weekends and holidays) to allow ICE sufficient time to secure a judicial warrant if: The person has been convicted of a "violent or serious crime" at any time in the past and has been deported and illegally reentered the U.S. or the person is a possible match on the terrorist watch list.

Can I continue to travel to other states if I am undocumented or if I lose DACA status?

If you travel within 100 miles of US national borders and coastlines, you may be subject to a “routine search” even if law enforcement officials do not have a warrant or suspicion of wrongdoing. Because of this, we recommend you talk with an attorney before making any travel plans if you are undocumented or you lose DACA status.

I am undocumented or I am part of a mixed status family. How do I protect myself and/or my family members?

It’s important you and your family members know your rights. In addition to contacting a lawyer, you can find information on the websites of organizations such as the National Immigration Law Center, United We Dream, and the NYU Immigrant Rights Clinic.

I am an ally. How can I help?

The NYU Dream Team is an active student organization that has worked to better our University and hosts a welcoming community of its own. The Center for Multicultural Education and Programs provides a community and year-round events, and can help connect you to educational resources. United We Dream also has a helpful list of what you can do with and for undocumented students.