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Washington Update

DACA Update
A federal judge sitting on the United States District Court for the District of Columbia issued a ruling yesterday ordering the government to continue the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, both for current registrants whose DACA enrollment is set to expire and for new applicants who meet the program’s eligibility requirements. Importantly, the order is subject to a 90-day stay, granting the government three months to provide additional reasoning for ending the DACA program before the order potentially takes effect. As the Washington Post reports, federal judges in California and New York previously blocked the Trump administration’s rescission of DACA on similar grounds – though those rulings only ordered the government to resume accepting applications for currently enrolled DACA registrants who wish to stay enrolled.

Prior to yesterday’s ruling, APLU and 36 other higher education associations sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen calling for the timely processing of renewal applications for DACA registrants. The letter urges DHS and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to expedite the review and processing of all renewal applications and give prompt attention to the submissions that have recently expired or will expire in the coming days and weeks. The letter follows the recent release of USCIS’ quarterly report detailing the number of pending and approved applications in the first three months of 2018.

Supreme Court Hears Travel Ban Case Today
The Supreme Court heard oral arguments this morning in Trump v. Hawaii, a case concerning travel restrictions imposed by a September 2017 presidential proclamation, also known as “Travel Ban 3.0.” The policy set a range of restrictions on six majority-Muslim countries – Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen – as well as North Korea and Venezuela. The high court allowed the administration to implement the ban fully in December, pending the outcome of the litigation. APLU and 32 other higher education associations filed a friend-of-the court brief arguing that the restrictions threaten the United States’ ability to attract international students and scholars. The court released an audio recording of the arguments.

Opposition to PROSPER Act’s Elimination of PSLF
In separate communications, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), U.S. Navy, and 13 Republican members of Congress voiced concerns over the elimination of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program in the PROSPER Act. The letter from DoD states the Department’s overall opposition to the legislation as a result of the PSLF elimination, which is widely used as a recruitment tool.

  • Council on Governmental Affairs

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