Our Democracy

DACA Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ for Students and Educators

Updated August 31, 2017

We have received many questions from concerned members of our community about the possible impact on them should DACA be repealed. The California State University System answered some of the most frequent questions are addressed below.1

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ENROLLMENT AND EMPLOYMENT

Will my enrollment at the university, tuition or financial aid be impacted if the DACA program ends?

No. CSU enrollment and tuition policies are not based on DACA status and will not be impacted if DACA is repealed. Likewise, state funding available under the California Dream Act is not based on DACA status and will not change. For more information about financial aid programs, click here.2

However, you should check with the financial aid office at your campus if you believe you have been receiving private funding based on your status as a DACA recipient.

Can I continue to work on campus if DACA is repealed?

This is unclear. It is possible that you may be able to continue your position for a limited time frame, but this will depend on the specific action taken by the government.

Federal law forbids employers from knowingly employing individuals who lack proper authorization to work in the country. DACA recipients are given an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) to allow them to work legally in the country. If the government repeals DACA, it is also possible that it may demand the return of your EAD. If this occurs, you will not be able to keep your job.

If the DACA program ends but you are allowed to keep your EAD, you should be allowed to continue your employment until your EAD expires. After your EAD expires, you will not be able to renew it and your employment will end.

Unfortunately, you cannot use the Social Security Number (SSN) issued to you through DACA for employment once you are no longer authorized to work. While your SSN is permanently yours and can be used to file income tax returns, the work authorization allowed for on the Social Security card might be temporary. The Social Security card you received as a result of having a valid grant of DACA only allows for work authorization in conjunction with a valid grant of DACA.

TRAVEL

I am a current DACA recipient and I am studying abroad. Will I be allowed re-entry if DACA is repealed?

If DACA is repealed while you are abroad, it is very likely that you will not be permitted to re-enter the U.S. upon return, with or without Advance Parole. DACA recipients have been repeatedly advised not to leave the country under the current administration.

If you currently are abroad or have questions, you are encouraged to contact legal counsel. A list of non-profit organizations that provide free legal services to immigrants residing in California can be found here3.

What is important to know when considering travel within the U.S.?

While flying, you could be asked by airport security to provide proof of your immigration status. Airports are "ports of entry" into the U.S. There are Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at airports, and constitutional protections are limited at ports of entry. U.S. domestic flight security is governed by the Transportation Security Administration ("TSA"), which is part of the Department of Homeland Security.

You must show valid identification at the airport checkpoint in order to travel4.

If you currently have DACA and it has not expired nor the program repealed, you should be able to travel within the U.S via plane or other forms of transportation. You may be stopped and asked about your immigration status. You may be asked questions about your immigration status if you use a document that shows your country of citizenship (such as a non-U.S. passport or Employment Authorization Document, "EAD" card).

An AB 60 license is not accepted as identification for federal purposes, including as identification for air travel. 5

If you are traveling by air or land within 100 miles of any U.S. border, CBP officers have certain additional powers and can operate immigration checkpoints. Please also see the American Civil Liberties Union's (ACLU) fact sheet on risks present within the "100-mile border zone." 6

What are CBP (Customs and Border Protection) checkpoints and what happens if I encounter one?

CBP is responsible for securing the U.S. border. In order to do so, CBP patrols the border and nearby areas and conducts checkpoints. These activities typically take place within 100 miles of the U.S. border. Checkpoints can be permanent structures or temporary tactical posts7. When they are operational, generally there will be a stop sign for each lane where a CBP officer will either wave you through (allow you to pass) or ask you questions. The officers are authorized to ask whether you have lawful immigration status, and they are authorized to verify your status. CBP agents can conduct a search of persons and/or vehicles at a checkpoint if they have "particularly probably cause" from their observations, canine sniffs, record checks, or other lawful means, but motorists are not required to consent to a search. 8

If you have DACA, you can bring a copy of your EAD and your approval notices just in case you are asked questions.

If the officers are unable to verify lawful immigration status, they can take the motorist(s) to the secondary inspection area. If the officers are still unable to verify lawful immigration status, they could either issue a Notice to Appear asking the motorist to go to Immigration Court or let the motorist go. These procedures vary and may change frequently under the current presidential administration.

Fleeing from checkpoints is a felony and motorists should never lie to an officer. For example, misrepresentation or false claim of U.S. citizenship can have an adverse consequence at a later time if motorists want to petition for permanent residency.

For more information, please see ACLU-Border Litigation Project’s Checkpoint FAQ.9

CONTACT WITH IMMIGRATION ENFORCEMENT

What can I do if I come in contact with ICE?

The U.S. Constitution guarantees rights to all people in the U.S., regardless of citizenship status, which includes the right to be free from unlawful searches and seizures. In practical terms, that means that during a police or immigration officer encounter:

  • You have the right to remain silent.
  • Stay calm and be polite. Do not lie about your citizenship status or provide fake documents.
  • You do not have to sign anything. If you sign, you may be giving up your opportunity to stay in the U.S.
  • If immigration comes to your home, you do not have to open your door unless an officer has certain kinds of warrants. Ask the officer to slip the warrant under the door or hold it up to a window so you can inspect it. For more information about the warrant authority of ICE and CBP, click here10.
  • If you are taken into immigration custody, you have the right to a lawyer. However, please note that the government does not have to provide one for you. For available legal services, click here11.
  • Additionally, if you are in immigration custody, you have the right to contact your consulate12.

You can carry the Immigrant Legal Resource Center’s "red card" with you to read your rights in case of contact with ICE13. To read more about your rights, please see the National Immigration Law Center's resources14.

What can I do to keep my family safe?

You can help them develop a safety plan, as well as inform them of their rights. Please see the Immigrant Legal Resource Center’s family preparedness plan.15

OPTIONS FOR IMMIGRATION RELIEF

I am planning to marry my U.S. Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident partner – how does that affect my status?

You may be able to adjust your status, but it depends on your specific situation. It is very important that your marriage is a "real" or "bona fide" marriage, which means that your marriage cannot be fraudulent.

There are many factors that may preclude an applicant from gaining lawful permanent residency through marriage, such as the manner in which the applicant entered the United States and complex laws known as "grounds of inadmissibility." Please contact legal counsel to assess whether this is the right option for you and your partner. 16

Is there any way I can legalize my status besides marrying a U.S. Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident?

You might be eligible for some form of immigration depending on your individual circumstances. Aside from marriage to someone with lawful status, other options include:

  • Family-based petitions
  • U Nonimmigrant Visa – for victims of serious crimes
  • T Nonimmigrant Visa – for victims of severe forms of human trafficking
  • Special Immigrant Juvenile Status – for youth under 21 who have been abused, abandoned, or neglected
  • Violence Against Women’s Act ("VAWA") – for victims of abuse by a U.S. Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident
  • Asylum/Convention Against Torture – for those who fear return to their home country

Where can I find more information?

The CSU will continue to monitor changes to DACA and immigration policy and will provide updates as needed.


1Large portions of this guidance document are borrowed from the University of California Legal Services Center. Seehttps://law.ucdavis.edu/ucimm/files/2017_7_7%20Center%20New%20Administration%20FAQ%20_FINAL.pdf.
2 https://www2.calstate.edu/attend/student-services/resources-for-undocumented-students/financial-aid 
3 https://www2.calstate.edu/attend/student-services/resources-for-undocumented-students/Pages/legal-support-services.aspx 
4 https://www.tsa.gov/travel/security-screening/identification 
5 https://www.ilrc.org/sites/default/files/resources/ab_60_4_27_15.pdf 
6 https://www.aclu.org/other/constitution-100-mile-border-zone?redirect=constitution-100-mile-border-zone 
7 https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/1084/~/legal-authority-for-the-border-patrol 
8 https://www.aclusandiego.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/KYR-2-pg-flyer-final.pdf 
9 https://www.aclusandiego.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Border-Patrol-Checkpoint-FAQs.pdf 
10 See FAQ No. 6: https://www2.calstate.edu/attend/student-services/resources-for-undocumented-students/Documents/Undocumented-FAQs.pdf 
11 https://www2.calstate.edu/attend/student-services/resources-for-undocumented-students/Pages/legal-support-services.aspx 
12 https://www.state.gov/s/cpr/32122.htm 
13 https://www.ilrc.org/red-cards 
14 https://www.nilc.org/issues/immigration-enforcement/everyone-has-certain-basic-rights/ 
15 https://www.ilrc.org/family-preparedness-plan 
16 https://www2.calstate.edu/attend/student-services/resources-for-undocumented-students/Pages/legal-support-services.aspx