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DACA Field Report

School Records for DACA Application

On Tuesday, DHS officials hosted a conference call with
educators in regard to school records serving as documentation for DACA
applicants. During the call, DHS officials advised educators that school
records serve as two-pronged pieces of evidence: firstly, they prove that
applicants are either still in school, or have graduated high school, and
secondly, they prove continuous presence in the country for at least four
years. One of the requirements to be eligible for DACA is continuous presence
in the country for five years; DHS officials explained, “[school records is]
fantastic evidence in a single document.” Educators seemed concerned by the
fact that, while school records can indeed prove presence in the country for
four years, summer and other breaks are not accounted for. DHS officials
replied by stating that there is no requirement for applicants to account for
any given day during school breaks. Additionally, the officials affirmed that the
agency, when processing the applications, will keep in mind that schools do
have regular breaks.

One of the most important questions on educators’ minds was
the question of federal financial aid. If granted DACA, educators wanted to
know, would the students then qualify to receive grants or be eligible to
participate in work-study programs. The answer given by the immigration
officials was disappointing but seemingly expected: DACA provides only two
benefits: removing the possibility of deportation and obtaining work
authorization, both for at least two years. Those individuals granted DACA will not receive any other benefits such as
federal financial aid.

Some school districts have been highly cooperative with DACA
applicants in expediting the processing rates of providing school records to
requestors. Thus far, how has your experience been in obtaining your school
records? Does your school charge a fee? Is the waiting time too long? Have you
encountered any serious difficulties in obtaining the records? Share your
experience here!

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DACA Field Report Blog carries field reports on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals from multiple sources.

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