DACA at UNC Charlotte

What is DACA?

On June 15, 2012, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that it would not deport certain undocumented youth who came to the United States as children. Under a directive from the DHS secretary, these youth may be granted a type of temporary permission to stay in the U.S. called “deferred action.” The Obama administration called this program Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. (https://www.nilc.org/issues/daca/)

On Sept. 5, 2017, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) initiated the orderly phase out of the program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). DHS will provide a limited, six-month window during which it will consider certain requests for DACA and applications for work authorization, under specific parameters. 

 – Department of Homeland Security

Homeland Security Acting Secretary, Elaine Duke, announced the termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and President Trump placed the future of the program in the hands of Congress. The DACA program is expected to end March 5, 2018. The U.S. Congress has until that time to enact legislation to make DACA law. These actions have made the future uncertain for approximately 800,000 young immigrants and their families, and have impacted many of our students who have concerns and questions in this present period of uncertainty.

On June 18, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a 5-4 decision finding that the Trump administration’s termination of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) was (1) judicially reviewable and (2) done in an arbitrary and capricious manner, in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act. (https://www.nilc.org/issues/daca/alert-supreme-court-overturns-trump-administrations-termination-of-daca/)

On July 28, 2020, acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad F. Wolf announced that in response to the Supreme Court’s decision, DHS will consider the future of the DACA program and whether or not to fully rescind it. In the meantime, DHS indicated that it will take actions in the interim to address concerns with the policy. Interim measures include:

  • Reject all initial requests for DACA and associated applications for Employment Authorization Documents;

  • Reject new and pending requests for advanced parole absent exceptional circumstances; and,

  • Limit the period of renewed deferred action granted pursuant to the DACA policy after the issuance of this memorandum to one year.


What Does This Mean?

  • As of July 28, 2020 U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will not accept DACA requests from individuals who have not previously been enrolled in the DACA program.

  • If your new application request is rejected by USCIS, it will be returned with your application fee and you will be able to resubmit your request if USCIS begins accepting new applications.

  • USCIS will continue to accept requests from individuals who had been granted DACA at any time in the past.

  • USCIS will limit renewal grants of deferred action and employment authorization under DACA to one year but will not rescind any currently valid two-year grants of DACA or associated employment authorization documents, unless USCIS terminates an individual’s DACA and associated employment authorization for failure to continue to meet the DACA criteria.

  • USCIS will only grant advance parole for travel outside the United States to DACA recipients in rare instances such as:

    • Travel to support the national security interests of the United States;

    • Travel to support U.S. federal law enforcement interests;

    • Travel to obtain life-sustaining medical treatment that is not otherwise available to the alien in the United States; or

    • Travel needed to support the immediate safety, wellbeing or care of an immediate relative, particularly minor children of the DACA recipient.

  • We continue to advise any DACA recipient to not travel outside the United States. If you are a DACA recipient currently outside the United States, we advise that you return to the country as soon as possible.
  • Effective September 5, 2017, DHS will no longer accept Form I-131 for Advance Parole from DACA recipients, which means DACA students should not participate in any study abroad programs.


DACA at UNC Charlotte

Along with our sister institutions in the UNC System, UNC Charlotte is continuing to monitor federal legislative action regarding DACA. The message shared by Chancellor Dubois on September 6, 2017 supports that UNC Charlotte "remains steadfast in fulfilling the founding vision of this institution: to open access and create opportunities for all deserving students." UNC Charlotte officials will continue to monitor the status of DACA and update affected students of any changes.

Unfortunately, federal regulations do not allow undocumented and DACA students to receive federal financial aid. Also, current state regulations do not allow undocumented and DACA students to receive in-state tuition rates at universities in North Carolina. This can be a heavy burden for students when planning for college. Below are some current financial resources shared by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions that DACA students can review to help them search for additional funding.


Please know that while specific federal guidance is still uncertain, students can seek support and resources from both the Dean of Students Office and the Center for Counseling and Psychological Services

Meanwhile, UNC Charlotte’s reputation as a welcoming and inclusive community is something we can all ensure and maintain, by continuing to be caring and supportive members of the 49er family. We hope that you will join us in that effort.

UNC Charlotte News



UNC Charlotte Resources:


Other Resources:




Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy (Charlotte) - low cost legal advice

Latin American Coalition (Charlotte) - providing free services for DACA renewals and have assistance to cover USCIS fees

Center for New North Carolinians (Greensboro)

NC Justice Center (Raleigh)