CWRU responds to new DACA ruling

Sarah Karkoff, Contributing Writer

Following the new Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) ruling, President Eric Kaler and Provost Ben Vinson III have stated Case Western Reserve University’s approval and dedication to uphold this matter. The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) new proposed ruling comes in the wake of a July 2021 court decision by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas.

DHS’s final ruling will be placed into effect on Oct. 31, 2022. Until then, the U.S. District Court’s decision will remain law. As a result, DHS is still currently unable to grant new DACA requests. In the court’s rationale for the injunction, Judge Andrew S. Hanen explains that, although new requests cannot be fulfilled, current DACA recipients would not be impacted right away; they would still be able to continue residing in the country, as well as renew their DACA protections. 

The DACA policy, which has been in place since 2012, has allowed approximately 825,000 people to legally continue residing in the U.S., and many people who still receive deferred action came to the country before the age of five. Currently, those who depend upon DACA report that this employment authorization helped them secure a new or higher paying job. 

Allowing the District Court’s ruling to continue to impact those that require DACA protections will cause harm to a large number of individuals. As long as the DHS is unable to fulfill new applications, “Dreamers” will be unable to be granted work authorization that allow for immigrants to better support themselves and their families as well as contribute to the economy of the country. 

President Joe Biden himself supports the need for this policy to be put place, commenting “DACA reflects a judgment that these immigrants should not be a priority for removal based on humanitarian concerns and other considerations, and that work authorization will enable them to support themselves and their families, and to contribute to our economy, while they remain.” 

In the new policy guidance, DHS decided to maintain the same criteria for DACA requests. Additionally, the process for those seeking work authorization is to remain the same. Therefore, those who were eligible to apply before the District Court ruling will still be eligible once this policy goes into effect. Moreover, DHS reiterated that receiving DACA protections is not a form of “lawful status.” Instead, it means that recipients are simply “lawfully present” in the country. 

Kaler and Vinson shared their wholehearted support for the reinstatement of DACA. They stated that, “[CWRU] has seen firsthand the exceptional benefits of the growing international nature of our campus. We will continue to increase our global engagement and embrace all people.” 

In response to the ruling, Kaler and Vinson restated some of CWRU’s commitments to the student body. They explain that regardless of actual immigration status, all students are welcome to be a part of the university. All student records regarding immigration are to be kept confidential unless required by law. 

CWRU’s discrimination policy follows this same line of reasoning. The discrimination policy is as follows, “[CWRU] does not discriminate in recruitment, employment, or policy administration on the basis of race, religion, age, sex, color, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity or expression, national or ethnic origin, political affiliation, or status as a disabled veteran or other protected veteran under U.S. federal law.” According to these promises, students that are immigrants, legal or otherwise, will be welcomed into the CWRU community.