Schools seek to help immigrants amid mixed signals on DACA | Nation – Alabama News

Schools seek to help immigrants amid mixed signals on DACA | Nation – Alabama News

BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — Mixed signals from Washington over a possible agreement to preserve protections for young immigrants are increasing anxiety and confusion on college campuses, where the stakes are high.

Amid the uncertainty, colleges and universities are stepping up efforts to protect students enrolled in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, telling them to be hopeful but plan for the worst.

Harvard University has opened a round-the-clock emergency hotline for immigrants in the program. The University of Illinois at Chicago has posted advice on what to do if federal agents show up on campus. UC Berkeley, the University of San Francisco and many other campuses are offering free legal advice to immigrant students now facing fears of deportation. Nearly sixty college and university presidents sent a letter urging congressional leaders to make the program permanent out of “moral imperative and a national necessity.”

An estimated 350,000 of the country’s nearly 800,000 DACA recipients are currently enrolled in school, most at colleges or universities, according to a 46-state survey this year by the advocacy group Center for American Progress. Under the program, they were protected from deportation and allowed to legally work in the United States with two-year permits.

The top congressional Democrats, Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York and Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California, emerged from a White House dinner Wednesday to say they had reached a deal with President Donald Trump to save DACA. But amid backlash from conservative…

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