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And Now This: DACA – Updated September 5, 2017

This resource page was inspired by an FRC Faculty Development workshop held on February 22, 2017, to respond to the need for resources to address concerns of faculty, as well as staff, in being of service to our students. The particular immediate need was to be able to be of assistance to students whose immigration status was a waiver under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. During the workshop, general questions necessary for understanding the contemporary changing immigration law and enforcement practices emerged. This page provides general information, as well as sources for legal and social services and referrals – both on and off campus.

Here are some fast facts on the current state of DACA:

General Understanding of Immigration Law & Procedure

          The Context – Here & Now

Alert: according to the September 5, 2017, Community Advisory from the Immigrant Legal Resource Center:

On September 5, 2017, President Trump directed the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to phase out and eventually end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) over two and half years. This means that, as of September 5, 2017:

• USCIS will continue to process all pending INITIAL applications ACCEPTED as of September 5, 2017.

• USCIS will reject all other new INITIAL applications.

• USCIS will continue to process all pending RENEWAL applications that have already been filed.

• USCIS will continue to accept and process RENEWAL applications until October 5, 2017 from applicants whose DACA expires between September 5, 2017 and March 5, 2018. DACA recipients whose DACA has already expired are no longer eligible to renew.

• USCIS will reject all INITIAL and RENEWAL applications received after October 5, 2017.

IMPORTANT: Individuals with a current, unexpired grant of DACA will continue to hold DACA until it expires. This means that current DACA recipients maintain their protection from deportation and work permit until their current expiration date. USCIS will not refer DACA recipients and applicants to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for deportation unless they meet USCIS’ Notice to Appear guidance or post a risk to national security or public safety. Applicants with currently pending and processing applications should attend biometrics appointments and respond to any requests for additional evidence they receive from USCIS.

Find the full PDF version of this Community Advisory with more information at:

DACA is an internal Homeland Security policy based on two Obama Executive Orders that constrain ICE discretion.  These can be revoked without legislative action.   DACA eligible persons include those renewing from the original 2012 policy, as well as those who were granted status after the injunction against the more broad 2014 policy, including persons up to age 31 who entered the US before the 2010, was lifted.  The status has a three-year limitation. The political posture is that deportation of DACA protected students has not been formally prioritized, aggressive ICE enforcement affecting the most vulnerable and easily detained immigrants has commenced nationwide including, targeted raids, and surprising immigrants at routine reporting meetings. As renewals expire, we can expect students will face Homeland Security Action, if not before. The best advice to give a student or any person with ambiguous immigration status is to seek the advice of a lawyer.  Each case is different and decisions about how to move forward must be made with full legal consultation.

The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) offers a free consultation & referral service on its Immigration Information Hotline. Call to speak with an attorney regarding questions on: Family Immigration, Citizenship, Asylum, Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), U Visa, Deportation Defense, Temporary Protected Status (TPS), DACA, Detention, Benefits – for representation or referral. Hotline Open Tuesdays from 2pm to 4pm – 973.643.1924     For a flyer suitable for posting, see the pdf AFSC_Hotline flyer english & spanish.2017

International Students at Ramapo. First contact for them should be Rajesh “Raj” Adhikari, Director of International Student and Scholar Services. He will advise and refer if necessary. Call 201.684.7533 or email

For counseling and social services due to stress on these issues. The Center for Health and Counseling Services is available to students. The Center will counsel and refer students as necessary. Refer your students to: Tal Yonai at  For off-hour emergencies 24-hour hotlines are listed below under “Behavior Health Services Hotlines.”

          Information about Immigration Enforcement and Colleges

Sensitive Locations – or the unlikelihood ICE will knock on your classroom door. This is Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) term with legal and technical meaning. Although as any policy, the policy is subject to change, ICE has a formal policy prohibiting enforcement activities such as arrest, interview, search, or surveillance of non-citizens, at the following sensitive locations absent extraordinary threat circumstances:

  • Schools (pre-school through college, vocational or trade schools),
  • Hospitals, churches/institutions of worship,
  • The site of a funeral, wedding or other public religious ceremony
  • Any public demonstration, march, rally, parade.

For the full policy, including examples of what constitutes extraordinary circumstances justifying an exception to the policy, see:

          Staying Informed

For DACA information regularly updated, see: Immigrant Legal Resource Center, DACA Current Status and Options page at:

Know Your Rights: Wallet cards provided to RCNJ by the American Friends Service Committee are available on campus from Raj Adhikari at the Roukema Center ASB 123, and Karen Booth at the Center for Student Involvement SC 212, from Prof. Vides, found on her door at G217, and from Prof. Kathleen Ray at Flyers by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) are available here: This information is translated: English, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, French, Bahasa Indonesian, Korean, Somali, Urdu, Vietnamese.

          For General Information:

On November 28, 2016, the Immigrant Justice Corps and the NYU Immigrant Rights Clinic together with other co-sponsoring organizations hosted an Immigrant Rights Teach-In and Know Your Rights Presentation. The information is preserved in a series of short videos. The most immediately relevant videos are listed below. The Teach-In page also contains useful information for Muslim communities, persons with criminal records, undocumented persons, student employment, about asylum fear of persecution, LGBTQ or HIV positive persons. The information below remains current. The DACA information has not changed because no formal change in policy has yet been announced therefore the uncertainty true in November 2016 remains true. All reported detentions of DACA protected persons seem to result in release of those persons if no criminal record is a factor. Caveat: Northern New Jersey falls under the jurisdiction of ICE office in lower Manhattan. Local social resource information is for New York.

An Overview of the Immigration Enforcement System (5:51 min)

Know Your Rights: Home and Community Raids (12:53 min)

Know Your Rights: Detention and Deportation Proceedings (12:15 min)

How We Should All Prepare: Safety Planning and Finding Good Legal Representation (17:32 min)

How to Prepare if You Have DACA (13:42 min)

          On Sharing Reports of Raids on Social Media

Desis Rising Up and Moving – A Brief Guide for Sharing Reports of Raids on Social Media (2.13.2017) – Share Responsibly – Verify before you share. Be sure you do not contribute to unnecessary fear. This contributes to the strategy of creating the fear that will result in persons “self-deporting” which also divides families.

For Students who prefer peer-to-peer information or activism:

undocuJersey Is an organization by and for students containing information for current and prospective undocumented college students.

A key contact person who has worked with American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) is Giancarlo Tello who may be reached via email:

Behavior Health Services Hotlines

Anywhere     800-273-8255, language line

New York
Rockland        845.517.0400 (use language line after connected to an intake worker)
Orange           845.346.4357 (HELP), language line

New Jersey
Bergen            201.262.4357 (HELP), language line
Essex              973.266.4478, language line
Hudson           866.367.6023, language line
Passaic           973.754.2230, Spanish/Russian/Polish
Sussex            973.383.0973, language line
Union              908.994.7137, language line

On Sanctuary

“Sanctuary Campuses Vow to Protect Immigrant Students Under Trump” For a concise yet complete summary of the issues regarding “Sanctuary Campus” designations see this article by Rebecca Nathanson dated December 20, 2016.

Related RCNJ Resources

Ramapo International – Immigration Updates

Office of Equity and Diversity Programs DACA Page

President’s Post #106: State of the College Address February 2017

President’s Post #107: Principles for Immigrant Students