Undocumented students rallied on the University of Michigan campus to raise awareness of their needs ahead of the repeal of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
People in the DACA program arrived in the United States as children, and have been allowed to remain in the country to work or attend school. The students said they wanted to bring attention to their predicament, and ask the administration for specific supports and resources.
Barbara Diaz is one of the students who led the rally. She says university administrators have expressed support for the students, but have not backed that up with action. "We commend the university for at least recently supporting 'DREAMers' and making those statements. However, we need these resources, and just saying that they support us, doesn't support us," says Diaz.
They have a list of four requests for the administration: First, they would like the university to help meet their financial needs. Under DACA, there was a cap on the expected family contribution. Once the policy is repealed, undocumented students will be subject to the same financial aid formulas as other students. However, since they will not be able to work to pay the extra costs, they may no longer be able to afford to attend the university. Diaz says the student group would like administrators to meet the additional financial need or come up with other solutions to that problem.
Second, they are asking for a change in the policy for qualifying for in-state tuition for undocumented transfer students, which they say is burdensome. They also want a primary contact at the university to act as a liaison for undocumented students, and better access to information and resources for undocumented students and prospective students.