NYU Offers Resources to Undocumented Students After DACA Repeal Announced

By Sarah Jackson on October 16, 2017

Image by Molly Adams via Wikimedia Commons

The NYU Immigrant Defense Initiative hosted its DACA Forum and Info Session earlier this month to educate attendees about the resources available to undocumented students in light of President Trump’s announcement last month that DACA would be rescinded.

The panel featured NYU Law professors Nancy Morawetz and Alina Das, attorney Cristina Velez, and student Amanda Lawson. It was co-sponsored by the Immigrant Rights Clinic as well as the NYU Dream Team and Sanctuary Coalition, on-campus clubs for undocumented students and their allies.

Lawson, a member of the event’s co-sponsoring clubs, believes that being an undocumented student can be particularly stressful.

“The impending uncertainty of not knowing if, in a couple years, they’ll be able to graduate and continue the plans that they had when they matriculated into NYU; dealing with, for people who might have financial hardship, raising the funds in time; and worrying about their families,” Lawson said.

With concerns like Lawson’s in mind, University President Andrew Hamilton sent an email to the NYU community, offering support and resources to its undocumented students following the news that DACA would fully expire on March 5, 2018.

“Regardless of today’s announcement, NYU is committed to fully supporting our DACA students,” Hamilton wrote. “While you may feel fearful or dismayed today, remember that you are a member of a community that cares about you, a university where you are welcome and respected.”

Hamilton urged undocumented students to schedule legal consultations with the Immigrant Defense Initiative and reassured them that the university would not provide information about a student’s immigration status unless it was subpoenaed.

In terms of financial assistance, NYU’s Tejani Immigrant Pathways Fund grants eligible applicants money to cover the expense of their DACA renewal fees, according to an NYU webpage devoted to information for undocumented students.

The university also helps undocumented students with tuition on an individual basis.

“New York University announced a pilot program to give undocumented students from New York State grants the same way it awards them to citizens” in 2014, The New York Times reports.

Noelia Rodriguez, who organized Monday’s event and directs the Immigrant Defense Initiative, says raising public awareness of these legal and financial resources set aside for undocumented students creates a more welcoming environment for them on campus.

“The more people are aware of what’s going on, the more allies might join movements or might care about what’s happening and might help get change,” Rodriguez said.

Hi there! My name is Sarah, and I'm majoring in Journalism and English at NYU. In my spare time, I like to play the violin, explore the city, and discover more indie rock bands.

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