NSHE Statements on DACA

Nevada System of Higher Education’s Statement on DACA

The Nevada System of Higher Education reaffirms our strong commitment in support of undocumented and DACAmented students, staff, and faculty across our institutions. We join our colleagues throughout the United States in urging Congress to find a permanent solution to protect the futures of undocumented communities. DACA has lasted far longer than originally expected, and its future and the future of our students has once again been made uncertain with the latest Texas v. U.S. court decision. Each year more students arrive on college campuses without DACA, with 58% of undocumented students nationally not having access to DACA. With this in mind, we are committed to efforts that support the success and well-being of all our students, regardless of their immigration status.

NSHE is committed to the success of all of our more than 105,000 students. In keeping with the academic missions of our campuses, we will continue to support an open and inclusive campus environment at all eight NSHE institutions. All students, faculty, and staff should continue to feel welcome and supported.

The DACA program has been instrumental in providing access to NSHE institutions for undocumented communities. Undocumented students are making positive economic, cultural, and scholarly impacts on our communities, and each of our institutions have benefited greatly from DACAmented staff and faculty who have made meaningful contributions to our campuses. Access to higher education changes lives for the better, for all Nevadans.

While the fate of the DACA program is in the hands of Congress, NSHE leadership and its eight presidents are committed to partnering and advocating with our Congressional delegation, business community and other elected officials. A web page for undocumented NSHE community members has been established to provide up-to-date information including designated undocumented student resource coordinators, legal services, and counseling services at each of our institutions. In the end, supporting student success and ensuring students feel welcome and safe within our campus environments is paramount for all Nevadans.

Statements from Nevada’s Institutions

Dear CSN Family,

As many of you are aware, there was a recent ruling by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals regarding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The Fifth Circuit affirmed the lower court’s ruling that DACA is illegal but stayed the decision pending the new DACA regulation set to take effect October 31, 2022. However, the lower court ruling preserves the current partial stay of its injunction, allowing current DACA beneficiaries to continue to maintain and renew DACA protection. DACA beneficiaries should continue to file renewals as soon as possible, as further DACA litigation activity is expected.

This decision has again left many CSN DACA recipients and others in a state of uncertainty and anxiety. The court ruling bars any new, first-time DACA applications, although current DACA recipients will continue to receive DACA protections and may continue to renew their permits.

As the most ethnically diverse college in Nevada, CSN has been clear on this issue in the past and our position remains unchanged. Our DACA-eligible students contribute to our identity and mission. We firmly believe every student – including undocumented and DACA students – should be able to pursue their goals and seek opportunities to improve their lives through higher education without fearing for their safety or future. DACA and undocumented students are valued members of our college and our community, and we will continue to support them and advocate for them.

It is imperative that Congress act as soon as possible to pass federal legislation to support an immigration solution for the hundreds of thousands of youths covered by the program.

Dr. Federico Zaragoza

Dear Nevada State Community,

Today I am keeping our undocumented students & staff whose lives have been upended once more by yesterday’s DACA decision close to my heart. All our community members regardless of their immigration status deserve to feel safe, deserve to pursue their dreams, deserve to live full lives free from these uncertainties. This decision spotlights the urgent need for a pathway to citizenship for undocumented communities.

Yesterday the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals decided on the Texas v. United States Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) case. The court decided that DACA is unlawful, however, it remains in place for now. The case was sent to a lower court for review and we’re prepared to provide updates when the next decision is made. Learn more about the DACA Update at Informed Immigrant.

At this time, current DACA recipients are encouraged to continue renewing their DACA. New DACA applications are not currently being processed.

To our UndocuScorpions, know that your campus community stands with you. While many of us may not understand the full weight of all that you carry day in and day out to pursue your education, know that we see you and we admire your tenacity, spirit, and fire.

Whatever comes, know that we will be standing alongside you to fight with you.

Campus Resources

Local Resources

  • DACA Renewal Funds: Make the Road NV
  • DACA Renewal Assistance: Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada, Angie Corona at 702-386-1473. Students should leave a voicemail with their name and phone number. LACSN will call the student back within 24 business hours. 

Take Action

  • Show Your Support by sharing these resources with your students.
  • Stand in solidarity by printing and displaying the following poster in your classroom.
  • Register for our upcoming UndocuAlly Training: Careers & Professional Licensing for Undocumented Students at bit.ly/undocuallynsc
  • Donate to DACA renewal funds: Make the Road NV & Dream Big

Dr. DeRionne Pollard

Here at TMCC, we have always supported those who have become students thanks in part to DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals). DACA is a policy implemented in 2012 by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which allows certain noncitizens who entered the United States before the age of sixteen, and who meet educational, residential, and other requirements, to request a form of prosecutorial discretion called “deferred action.” DACA recipients receive a two-year period of protection and can apply for work authorization. More than 825,000 people have received deferred action under DACA.

On October 5, 2022, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled that DACA was illegal. The Fifth Circuit sent the case back to the district court to determine the legality of the new DACA rule as announced by the Biden Administration. For now, DACA remains in place but the chances of the program surviving are very low. The urgency for Congress to act this year is higher than it has ever been. As a higher education institution, TMCC recognizes the continued anxiety experienced by our DACA recipients and undocumented students.

Here are a few key takeaways from Fifth Circuit decision:

  • DACA renewals are still open for current DACA recipients.
  • First time applications are not currently being processed.
  • The case has been sent back to the Texas court, to determine the future of President Biden’s new rule to fortify DACA.

All of us at TMCC are keenly aware that DACA has created opportunities for individuals to work towards and complete a college education, and enabled approximately half a million undocumented students to enroll in colleges and universities in the United States. DACA allows recipients to qualify for financial aid, pay in-state tuition, and eventually earn a degree. DACA has also created a sense of security because it provides protection from deportation, and the ability to work in the United States.

If the DACA program ends, students on DACA will be left without protection and with limited resources. This will result in people losing their jobs and may hinder some from completing their education. I want students to know that TMCC continues to stand with the DACA recipients on our campus and in our communities.

These are uncertain and difficult times we are in, and you do not have to go through this alone. As part of our TMCC community, we stand with you and will be here to provide you with the support you need to continue to reach your educational goals.

Dr. Karin Hilgersom

Dear Campus Community:

The Trump administration announced today coming changes to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy. The administration announced it would no longer accept new applications for the DACA program, and will phase it out in six months unless Congress takes legislative action. Clearly, this announcement and its implementation extend far beyond UNLV and we are following it closely, as are campuses and communities across the country.

We continue to be strong supporters of DACA and of our DACA students. We recognize changes to DACA will have an adverse impact on some of our students and we will continue to communicate details as they become available. We are committed to being responsive and supportive of the emotional well-being of the campus community and encourage individuals to utilize services offered through the Office of Counseling and Psychological Services. Resources also are available through the Immigrant Legal Resource Center website.

We are proud of our students and the passion they have to pursue productive lives and careers—which is the very mission of higher education. Many are first-generation college students and trying to create a better path for their families and themselves.

We will continue to do everything in our power to provide for all of our students a safe, supportive environment conducive to their success while following the law. It was in this spirit that we joined more than 600 higher education institutions across the nation to advocate for continuation of the DACA program at the end of last year.

Even with today’s announcement, we will continue to champion the importance of education and the success of all our students. Citizenship is not a prerequisite for admission at UNLV, and our doors remain open to all students who seek education and the opportunities it provides.

As I have said before, inclusiveness is at the core of a different, daring, and diverse UNLV. Nothing will change that stance.

Len Jessup UNLV President

Dear Wolf Pack Family,

I hope this message finds you well. Over the past several weeks, we have commemorated a number of important days that have helped to recognize the unique and diverse nature of the people of our University. I wish to thank all of you for the significant efforts that you are all making to ensure that our campus is a welcoming place, one where we make every effort to always understand and encourage one another.

Last week, a federal appeals court in Louisiana ordered a lower court review of the Biden Administration revisions to the DACA program. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision said a federal district judge in Texas should take another look at the DACA program following revisions that were adopted in August. Last Wednesday’s ruling leaves current DACA recipients protected. But, at least for now, the ruling bars any new applicants to the program. Current DACA recipients shall continue to receive DACA protections and can continue to renew their permits.

For DACA participants and for any future applicants to the program, this latest ruling is no doubt a source of great uncertainty as to what the future of the program will hold. For more than 10 years now, the nation’s DACA policy has provided temporary protections for more than 800,000 individuals. Our University has made a commitment to provide our DACA students with a number of resources needed to successfully navigate the often complex path in reaching graduation — academic support, educational protections and benefits, mental health support and more.

Our DACA-eligible students and their families are a source of great pride and inspiration to our entire University. In every way, their dreams and their achievements speak to the institutional purposes of our University. We believe firmly in the notion that all students on our campus should be able to achieve anything they wish to pursue, and our DACA and undocumented students are no exception. Our DACA students and their families deserve our support, and the University will continue to stand with them.

The University is closely monitoring the situation, and will continue to share the latest developments and updates with you.

Sincere regards,

Brian Sandoval