~ by Rhina Guidos,
Catholic News Service
U.S. Department of Education said federal financial relief for Coronavirus for higher education is meant for U.S. citizens, prompting protests from students enrolled in colleges and universities under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program or DACA.
DACA students, brought to the U.S. illegally as children, do not qualify for emergency aid Education Department officials said on April 21, the same day U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced an additional $6.2 billion in federal funds to higher education institutions.
Some of it is slated to help students in the form of grants, but groups such as United We Dream, a national network of DACA students and immigrant youth, said in an April 21 statement that the funding leaves out immigrants who “play an essential role in our society and now they serve as front-line workers responding to COVID-19.”
One estimate says that of the approximately 700,000 beneficiaries of the DACA program – some 27,000 serve as health care workers or are on the front lines offering services during the pandemic.
“Yet immigrants have been largely left out of COVID-19 relief efforts,” said the statement from United We Dream.
Luz Chavez Gonzales, a DACA recipient who attends Trinity Washington University, a Catholic University, said, “I’m completing my junior year at Trinity Washington, an institution that has a large undocumented student population. Since the outbreak of the COVID-19, I’ve become the sole provider of my household since my parents and younger siblings lost their jobs. DACA allows me to work, and with a health crisis and the uncertainty of an upcoming DACA Supreme Court ruling, my family could lose their only source of income.”
She expressed disappointment with the administration’s stance to limit the funds.
To read the entire article: https://www.ncronline.org/print/news/quick-reads/federal-relief-leaves-out-daca-students