MSCHE Submits Comments to DHS in Support of DACA

The Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) submitted a written letter from MSCHE President Dr. Heather Perfetti in response to the United States Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) proposed rule on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

On July 16, 2021, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas vacated the June 2012 memorandum that created the DACA policy and what the court called the “DACA program,” and it permanently enjoined DHS from “administering the DACA program and from reimplementing DACA without compliance with” the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). However, the district court temporarily stayed its vacatur and injunction with respect to most individuals granted deferred action under DACA on or before July 16, 2021, including with respect to their renewal requests. The district court’s vacatur and injunction were based, in part, on its conclusion that the June 2012 memorandum announced a legislative rule that required notice-and-comment rulemaking. … Pursuant to the Secretary’s broad authorities to administer and enforce the immigration laws, consistent with the district court’s direction to consider a number of issues on remand, and after careful consideration of the arguments and conclusions on which the district court’s decision is based, DHS puts forward for consideration the following proposed rule. DHS invites public comments on the proposed rule and possible alternatives. Read more

Dr. Perfetti wrote that “MSCHE supports the administration’s rulemaking efforts to preserve and fortify the DACA program and to appropriately focus DHS’s limited enforcement resources while advancing the significant humanitarian and economic interests the DACA policy was intended to serve.

“DACA has allowed young people whose undocumented status was not their choice the ability to obtain higher education degrees and pursue the American Dream. Higher education prepares these individuals to fill critical skill shortages and better positions them to support their families and make important contributions to their communities and the U.S. economy. The proposed rules would assist colleges and universities in enrolling and supporting those who meet the program’s criteria and contribute to the global standing and reputation of the country’s colleges and universities.”

Read the full letter.

The Commission has supported previous efforts on DACA that can be found at MSCHE Signs DACA Amicus Brief and MSCHE Signs Letter Urging Congress to Protect DACA Recipients and Dreamers