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Left in limbo, DACA students navigate college life at UMN

In a recent survey, DACA students expressed worry over the future of their legal status.

Last September, U.S. President Donald Trump announced plans to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, but ongoing discussions in federal appeals courts have blocked the proposal so far — leaving DACA recipients in limbo.

A recently published survey about DACA students highlighted the strains they feel and made recommendations for how universities can support these students. Many recipients rely on the DACA program’s protections to attend school.

For DACA students at the University of Minnesota, the uncertainty over the future of the program has left many worried.

One University student and DACA recipient said the instability of her legal status is nerve-racking for both herself and her parents. “I don’t know what we can do except worry,” she said. “I know we can hope for better things, but with the way things are looking right now … we’re not sure what we can do. It’s definitely scary.”

According to the survey, 83 percent of DACA students described themselves as “very anxious” about their immigration status, and 86 percent expressed concern over the legal status of their family.

The student said there isn’t a strong community for DACA and undocumented immigrants both at a University level and in general.

“It can be tough just going about your life feeling like you have this huge secret,” she said.

Another University student and recipient of DACA also expressed concern over how the end of the program would change everyday life.

“I … have to live day-to-day knowing that after [my DACA status expires], I won’t be able to work,” she said. “My entire livelihood is gone after that date. So there’s … a date on my license that I have until to continue to function as a normal member of society.”

She said the instability impacts many aspects of her life, from when to schedule her wisdom teeth removal to affording college.

“It’s really hard to plan ahead when every single day the law is changing. If you talk to anyone who’s studied immigration law they’ll tell you there’s really no stability here,” she said.

The new survey was conducted by TheDream.US, an organization that provides DACA and Temporary Protected Status students with scholarships. It found that 71 percent of DACA students work in some capacity while attending college. Over one-third provide financial support to their families.


To read this article in its entirety go here: http://www.mndaily.com/article/2018/11/n-left-in-limbo-daca-students-navigate-college-life-at-umn