Presidents’ Alliance Condemns “Stealth” Rescission of DACA Through Bureaucratic Policy Changes


Changes will double cost of DACA, take multiple years to approve renewals


July 28, 2020

Contact: Jose Magaña-Salgado (

Washington, D.C.—Today, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a memorandum (coupled with a press release and letter from the U.S. Department of Justice) that enacts significant changes to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), including reducing grants to one-year; rejecting initial requests; and begins a process that will likely lead to the rescission of DACA. DHS’s memo is in response to the July 18, 2020 Supreme Court decision holding that the administration’s initial rescission of DACA was unlawful. 

Jose Magaña-Salgado, DACA recipient and Director of Policy and Communications, Presidents’ Alliance, stated: “It is wildly disheartening, though not surprising, that the administration is attempting to establish a foundation to–for a second time–heartlessly end DACA, a tremendously successful and life-changing prosecutorial discretion initiative. Critically, DHS’ new policy represents a stealth rescission of DACA through administrative and bureaucratic policy changes–the one-year renewal will effectively double the cost of DACA, rendering DACA financially unobtainable for many applicants. Moreover, the new policy will double the adjudication load for USCIS that, coupled with existing backlogs and adjudication delays, will functionally mean that USCIS will be unable to approve DACA renewal requests in a timely manner, likely leading to multi-year wait times. The Presidents’ Alliance will, as it did in the previous litigation, rally institutions of higher education to support forthcoming legal challenges. Immigrant youth courageously won this battle in the court of public opinion and the Supreme Court, and we will do so again.”

Miram Feldblum, Executive Director, Presidents’ Alliance, stated: “This administration’s decision to disregard the Courts, reject new applications for DACA, and shorten the length of renewals to only one year is grotesque and heartbreaking. Close to 100,000 undocumented students graduate high school annually in the United States, and over 450,000 undocumented students are pursuing their postsecondary education. These students are actively readying themselves to fill critical skills shortages, including in health, STEM, teaching, and business; and 27,000 DACA recipients are already employed as healthcare practitioners on the frontlines of responding to the COVID-19 crisis. Now is the time to invest in these Dreamers so that they can reach their full potential and continue contributing to our campuses, communities, and nation. They are Americans in all ways but a slip of paper. We call on the administration to reverse course immediately, and for Congress to take up bipartisan reform to protect DACA and Dreamers and provide permanent protection, including a roadmap to citizenship.”


The non-partisan Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration brings together college and university leaders dedicated to increasing public understanding of how immigration policies and practices impact our students, campuses and communities, and supporting policies that create a welcoming environment for undocumented, immigrant, and international students. The Alliance is comprised of approximately 500 presidents and chancellors of public and private colleges and universities, representing over five million students in 41 states, D.C. and Puerto Rico.