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Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

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Background Summary 

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is an American immigration policy that allows some individuals who were brought to the United States illegally as children to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation and become eligible for a work permit in the U.S.

In November of 2016, President Fenves joined hundreds of other university presidents in signing a letter urging Congress to develop a long-term solution. The university adheres to state laws that provide the same services for all graduates of Texas public high schools and seeks to provide services and resources to all international students.

Under President Trump, the United States Department of Homeland Security rescinded the expansion on June 16, 2017, while continuing to review the existence of the DACA program as a whole. Plans to phase out DACA were announced on September 5, 2017; implementation was put on hold for six months to allow Congress to discuss possible legislative protection for affected residents. Congress did not take action and the time extension expired on March 5, 2018, but the phase-out of DACA has been put on hold by several courts.

On June 18, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected on procedural grounds the Trump administration’s attempt to rescind the program. Litigation over the program continues. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said the Supreme Court decision “does not resolve the underlying issue that President Obama’s original executive order exceeded his constitutional authority,” and has filed a suit alleging that in federal court in Texas.


With respect to all of its students, UT Austin follows all current state and federal laws, including State of Texas law that has provided equal access to higher education for graduates of state public high schools, regardless of their immigration status. Under this state law, all graduates of Texas public high schools are eligible to receive need-based state and institutional financial aid, tuition loans, scholarships and grant funding.  In keeping with state law, students are not asked about their immigration status.

Messages to Campus

A Message from President Fenves Regarding DACA – September 5, 2017


Trump Administration Pushes Texas Judge To Declare DACA ‘Illegal’ – KUT – June 14, 2018