GW was one of 19 institutions (along with Harvard, MIT, Georgetown, Stanford and others) that signed an amicus curiae brief in a federal court lawsuit in 2017 challenging the US government’s proposed repeal of the DACA program. We stand by our commitment to undocumented students, and issued a statement upholding our commitment. That statement can be found here: GW Principles of Support for Undocumented Students.
A decision regarding DACA is now before the U.S. Supreme Court. GW and the same 18 universities also submitted an amicus curiae brief to the Supreme Court on October 3, 2019, as a reflection of continued support for undocumented students.
GW was one of dozens of organizations to sign onto a letter in support of the bipartisan Senate Dream Act of 2021, which would provide Dreamers much-needed certainly following years of legal limbo. The letter can be found here.
Through a variety of offices and resources, GW seeks to ensure that all students, regardless of their immigrant status, have opportunities to succeed during their time at the university. Collaboration across the university aims at creating a welcoming, enriching and inclusive environment for all students, and for the GW community as a whole.
GW appreciates the realities that undocumented students and those in mixed-status families face, that are unique to their situations, and that those challenges affect undocumented students both on campus and at home. The Office of Student Life and Multicultural Student Services Center (MSSC) often lead much of the collaboration, mentorship and support for the university, with community-building programming that can help undocumented students address their needs with compassion, discretion and empathy. Support can take the form of:
- alleviating food insecurity
- sourcing cost-free or low-cost legal advice (see below)
- providing limited emergency funds
- providing healthcare (including insurance and care, both physical and mental/emotional) through the Colonial Health Center
- providing counseling and psychological services to overcome challenges and difficulties that may interfere with emotional, academic, and person success.
- providing community around shared identity or situation
Please see the above-linked websites for more information and for contact details.
The Office for Student Success offers a variety of academic and student support resources for students who face challenges in their coursework as well. Please contact the Office for Student Success ([email protected]; 1-202-994-6710) for academic success coaching. Libraries and Academic Innovation also offers course tutoring for students who may need additional support in their coursework.
First-time applications for DACA (i.e., from people who haven’t had it before) are NOT being accepted at this time. However, renewal applications are still being accepted and processed. You may wish to speak with a legal service provider about renewing your DACA if applicable. Legal resources available to the GW community are listed below.
Consult with the university’s immigration attorneys
In light of possible changes to DACA, students who may be affected and wish to consult an immigration attorney may contact the university's immigration lawyers free of charge. They will answer initial questions and review options with affected students. Please contact Ms. Helen Konrad at the firm of McCandlish Holton at [email protected], or by phone at 1-804-775-3825. McCandlish Holton shared the following background on the current state of DACA:
Due to federal court orders, USCIS is currently accepting only requests to RENEW deferred action grants under DACA. USCIS will not accept requests from individuals for DACA who have never before been granted deferred action under DACA. DACA renewals will be granted according to the original DACA policy. Renewals can be filed for those previously granted DACA, even if the original grant has expired.
The Supreme Court heard arguments on the DACA lawsuits last Fall. The Court is expected to release a final decision on whether to discontinue the DACA program completely very soon (early 2020). DACA renewals should be filed as soon as possible for DACA grantees whose status expires within a year or those whose DACA has already expired.
If your DACA expires later than a year, determine whether obtaining a short term extension is worth the filing fee. Extensions will be granted for two years from the date of approval without regard to your current DACA expiration date. We are currently seeing DACA extensions adjudicated in four to six weeks (as of January 2020).
For more information, visit Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals: Response to January 2018 Preliminary Injunction.
GW Law School Immigration Clinic
The Jacob Burns Immigration Legal Clinic offers legal assistance to GW students on immigration law matters. For more information, students should call 202-994-7463 and ask for the Immigration Clinic. More information can be found here.
Examples of External Resources
- United We Dream is the largest immigrant youth-led community in the country. It offers a host of resources for DACA recipients.
- The National Immigration Law Center (NILC) is one of the leading organizations in the U.S. exclusively dedicated to defending and advancing the rights of immigrants with low income.
- Ayuda provides legal, social, and language services to help vulnerable immigrants in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia.
- The Central American Resource Center (CARECEN) has fostered the comprehensive development of the Latino population in the Washington metropolitan region by providing direct services, while promoting grassroots empowerment, civic engagement, and human rights advocacy since its founding in 1981.