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The University Star




The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Taskforce established ahead of Supreme Court DACA case

Texas+State+University+President+Dr.+Denise+Trauth+speaks+with+student+Ethan+Pena+Sept.+30+at+the+Student+Government+Roundtable+in+the+LBJ+Ballroom.

Texas State University President Dr. Denise Trauth speaks with student Ethan Pena Sept. 30 at the Student Government Roundtable in the LBJ Ballroom.

Texas State President Denise Trauth established a task force September 2019 to inform the university community about the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and the subsequent Supreme Court case deciding its fate.
The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to hear oral arguments Nov. 12 in the case of Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of the University of California. The hearing will decide the status of the presidential executive order that established the DACA program in 2012 under former President Obama. The Supreme Court justices will be reviewing federal court cases challenging President Trump’s termination of DACA.
In an official letter to Jaime Chahin, chair of the DACA task force, Trauth wrote the university community has an opportunity to act ahead of the court’s decision in the upcoming months.
“As a Hispanic Serving Institution, it is our responsibility to find ways to encourage our students to engage in this subject and for them to learn about the actual contents of the executive order and what it does and does not do,” Trauth wrote. “Many in our community do not understand the protection the United States has provided over the years to DACA students.”
Chahin said the task force—comprised of faculty, staff and students appointed by Trauth— have been compiling services offered by the university to DACA students across several departments. Additionally, the force is collecting recommendations by those departments to better respond to students’ needs.
“In anticipation of (the Supreme Court case), (the institution) is doing some self-analysis as to what we are doing for DACA students in terms of financial aid, guidance, advice and support and what other things need to be done,” Chahin said.
According to Chahin, a memorandum of available services and recommendations will be presented in late October 2019 to the President’s Cabinet.
“There are a lot of services being rendered to DACA students in terms of financial aid and student support,” Chahin said. “Naturally, their biggest challenge is financial. They do not qualify for Pell Grants and might be in need, but they only qualify for state financial aid.”
DACA students qualify for in-state tuition under the Texas Education Code Section 54.052 and 19 Texas Administrative Code Section 21.24. “Dreamers” are not eligible for any federal grants, scholarships, loans or work-study allocations. Upon graduation, DACA recipients can apply for a work permit.
Yunuen Alvarado, journalism senior, was one of the last members appointed to the task force and the only student. Her name was passed on by Student Government President Corey Benbow to Joanne Smith, Vice President for Student Affairs, to serve as the Student Government representative.
Alvarado participated in the LBJ Student Center sit-in two years ago, advocating for better resources and services for undocumented students.
She said different experts from various departments and organizations on campus, such as Financial Aid and Student Community of Progressive Empowerment (S.C.O.P.E) came to weekly meetings to aid in helping task force members understand what the university can do for DACA students.
“I think it is a step forward,” Alvarado said. “It is not the biggest step and it does not even begin to touch on what needs to be done. It is the bare minimum and there is always more.”
Having served on several committees addressing immigration issues, Alvarado said the progression of services available has been interesting, considering there were no resources two or three years ago.
“As a university, we need to do more but being on these committees, I understand that as a public university receiving federal funding, we cannot have everything on the list,” Alvarado said. “Everything is a process.”
According to the university, DACA students will be allowed to remain enrolled at Texas State regardless of the Supreme Court case outcome.
For more resources and information about DACA, visit the Student Diversity and Inclusion Office, located in the LBJ Student Center, Suite 5-2.1.

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