Reflections on the Tenth Anniversary of DACA

On June 15, 2012, President Barack Obama signed an executive memorandum that announced the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy. This administrative relief protects eligible immigrants who came to the United States when they were children from deportation. DACA gives recipients: 1) protection from deportation, and 2) a work permit.

In the 10 years since the announcement was made much has happened. The relief policy has gone through a series of court challenges resulting in those who are eligible to always face difficulties and uncertainty. During this same time, our university’s support for Illinois Undocumented/DACAmented students has only continued to grow. We continue to provide immigrant legal aid and consultation through the College of Law Immigration Law Clinic as well as mentorship and support through the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and La Casa Cultural Latina. We also provide training to campus partners and allies, financial support, and visibility about issues DACA holders face as they navigate higher education.

Through uncertainty and challenges, our university’s commitment to our undocumented/DACAmented students continues to be steadfast. On this tenth anniversary, we renew our commitment and reflect on what we have accomplished, as well as what we can still do, to support and celebrate the talents and success of our undocumented/DACAmented students at the University of Illinois.