Legislation and Policies
The following federal, state and university laws and/or programs directly impact Dreamers. Some of the language is complex, so please take time to read them carefully to see if any can help you during your time at UC Riverside. We are also available to assist you. Contact us if you need help!
Deferred Action for Early Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
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. In early November the University of California, along with other organizations and individuals who have sued the Trump administration over its rescission of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, asked a federal judge to resume the program while legal motions proceed. On January 9th, the U.S. District Court in San Francisco granted the motion for preliminary relief. This decision directs the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to resume accepting DACA renewals until the courts ultimately resolve questions over the legality of the DACA rescission. You can read UC’s statement here.
While this is welcome news, the battle is far from over. Unfortunately, even with this decision, fear and uncertainty persist for DACA recipients across California and the nation who want to continue to live, work, learn and contribute to the country they know as home. The order does not require DHS to process new applications for DACA or applications for advance parole. We also anticipate that DHS may appeal the order.
Please refer to the the UCILSC's FAQ for additional details on what this ruling might mean if you are a DACA recipient.
DACA Renewal Process
Please review the guidelines set out by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Free Help for UCR Students Renewing DACA:
UC Immigrant Legal Services will be hosting free DACA renewals workshops for UC students and their immediate family members.
- Monday, January 22, 3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
- Tuesday, January 23, 4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
To register or see other campuses’ dates click here.
Financial Resources to Cover DACA Fees
Funds for DACA Renewals
As a reminder DACA renewals fees are $495. Mission Asset Funds is offering DACA Scholarships. The application takes only 10 minutes so apply ASAP. They currently have a waitlist, but please apply ASAP! Click here to apply.
After you sign up for the waitlist, email email@example.com with your SID. We might have funds (pending).
Off-Campus DACA Resources
Information and Handouts
- UCILS's DACA Injunction FAQ
- ILRC's DACA Rescission Case Summary
- UCILSC's FAQ on TPS
- UCILSC's FAQ on Real ID
- ILRC's Legislation Summary
- ILRC's CA Driver Licenses Once DACA Expires
- NILC's About DACA and Employment
- UC Immigrant Legal Services Center's Message on DACA (9/5/17)
- IRLC DACA Advisory
- "Know Your Rights" Card for UC student
- UCR: FAQ for UCR Employees on Immigration Enforcement
- FAQ for UC Employees on Immigration Enforcement
California Assembly Bill 540 (AB 540)
Passed in October 12, 2001, this bill allows undocumented students who meet certain requirements to pay in-state tuition in California’s higher education institutions (UC, CSU, community colleges).
- You have attended a California high school for three or more years OR, the equivalent for three years of high school credits AND a total of three or more years of attendance in California elementary schools.
- Will have or have graduated from a California high school or have attained a GED.
- Have registered or enrolled at and an accredited institution of higher learning in California.
You must file or plan to file an affidavit as required by individual institutions, stating that he/she will apply for legal residency as soon as possible.
The California Dream Act (AB 130 & AB 131)
The California Dream Act (AB 130 & AB 131) allows AB 540 students to be eligible for state financial aid.
Students granted DACA should apply for California Dream Act, NOT FAFSA!
AB 130: Allows AB-540-eligible students to apply for and receive private scholarships administered by public colleges and universities, including scholarships funded through private donors, alumni contributions and individual departmental efforts.
AB 131: Allows students who meet the AB 540 criteria to:
- Apply for and receive institutional grants such as UC Grant, State University Grant, Educational Opportunity Program and Educational Opportunity Program & Services fee waivers.
- Apply for and receive Board of Governors fee waivers at the California Community Colleges.
- Apply for and receive state financial aid, including Cal Grants and Chafee Foster Youth Grants for use at eligible public and private institutions.
Note: If you’re a male under the age of 25 (even if undocumented), you must register for Selective Service.
How to Apply for the California Dream Act:
- Determine if you meet the AB 540 requirements (see above).
- Apply for the California Dream Act. Application opens in the beginning of October and the deadline is March 2.
- Make sure you submit your GPA verification by March 2.
- After you apply, check with your school to see if any additional information from you is needed. If you attend UC Riverside, you can do this in R'Web.
Note: About 20 percent of students are selected for verification and will have to submit additional documentation to verify household income and size.
DACA does not impact an undergraduate student’s eligibility for state/institutional financial aid.
Undocumented Students that meet the AB 540 requirements are eligible for state and institutional aid through the CA DREAM Act. CA DREAM Act allows undocumented students that are eligible for AB 540 to receive aid such as Cal Grants, UCR Grants, and the DREAM Loan.
Again, eligibility to CA DREAM Act financial aid is not based off a student’s DACA status.
The DREAM Loan
The DREAM Loan is offered to AB 540 student to close the gap of unmet financial need. Each UC campus will determine the amount a student can borrow based on available funding and number of eligible students.
The maximum loan amount is capped at $4,000 each year, per student.
Although it is not a federal loan, the interest rates and terms will be similar to Stafford Loans.
Interest will not accrue on the loan as long as you're a student enrolled at least half time and there is a 6 month “grace period” before you have to start paying pack the loan.
Payments are scheduled over a ten-year term.
If you are interested in the loan, you should indicate so on your California Dream Act application.
AB 60 Driver License Bill
Beginning January 1, 2015, any eligible California resident will be able to receive a driver’s license, regardless of immigration status. An applicant who does not have a social security number or proof of lawful presence will receive an AB 60 license, which will have a visible distinguishing feature (to be determined).
For more information, visit: DriveCA.org.
SB 1159 (Professional Licenses for Undocumented Immigrants)
Through the passage of SB 1159, individuals in California can submit an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) in lieu of a social security number to obtain professional licenses issued from 40 different boards overseen by the California Department of Consumer Affairs.
As described by Educators for Fair Consideration, “A professional license authorizes practitioners of certain professions such as medicine, law, social work, and cosmetology to work in a given industry. Usually regulated by state governments, professional licenses are usually overseen by state licensing boards or bureaus.
Requirements to successfully gain a professional license vary between industries and between states, and can consist of a combination of written examinations, demonstrated work experience and higher education.”
For more information on how an undocumented person can work as an independent contractor see E4FC’s Life after College Guide.