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DACA program remains in limbo, UW is committed to Dreamers

Today marks six months since the executive order to end the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was issued, which, at the time, was the deadline for the program to end. Despite popular support for protecting the Dreamers, there has been no legislative action yet from Congress to create a fix. However, the program continues to be in effect, based on the rulings of two U.S. district courts and last week, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to fast-track cases related to DACA.  This means the DACA-related cases will continue to work their way through the courts and for now, the program will remain in limbo.

We support all legal efforts to restore DACA’s protections, but the lack of legislative action creates a cruel and persistent uncertainty for the more than 800,000 young people who were brought to this country as children without documentation. I wish I had the power to restore certainty and security for the UW’s DACA recipients. While I cannot change the law, I can promise that your University will do everything we can to continue to make our campus a welcoming environment.

As a reminder, we do not provide immigration officials with information about our students or allow immigration officials to enter UW classrooms or residence halls without a court order. DACA’s status will not affect financial aid provided by the UW. The UWPD does not and will not inquire about immigration status when they detain, question or otherwise interact with people. And in Seattle and King County, local law enforcement will continue their policy barring officers from asking about immigration status.

I encourage students, faculty or staff seeking guidance to visit the UW Leadership Without Borders Center or contact We are monitoring the situation closely and will continue to communicate with our undocumented community members with relevant information.

When DACA was first enacted, it was a compact with recipients: sign up for the program and this country will enable you to make the most of your skills and talents. It was a promise of the opportunity to contribute. Every day that we fail to restore the program, we break that promise. The human cost is high and the Dreamers are paying it, but their losses are everyone’s losses. We need their diverse talents and voices in our democracy.

To the Dreamers: The University of Washington stands with you.