TUCSON— Today, Reps. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ), Lou Correa (D-CA), Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), and 84 of their colleagues sent a letter to Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos opposing the Administration’s decision to block Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), Temporary Protected Status (TPS), Deferred Enforced Departure (DED), and undocumented students from eligibility for the $6.3 billion in emergency assistance for students included in the CARES Act.
This decision will negatively impact the more than 450,000 undocumented students enrolled in higher education who are experiencing the same disruptions and economic hardships as their peers. COVID-19 does not differentiate between students, and neither should the associated relief.
In the letter, Member said, “We strongly urge the Department to rescind its issued guidance and ensure that all affected students enrolled in higher education institutions—irrespective of immigration status—are eligible for emergency federal aid to offset expenses related to disruptions caused by COVID-19.”
Members went on to say, “COVID-19 has led to greater economic insecurity for DACA, TPS, and DED recipients and undocumented students. These students need emergency aid to cover basic needs such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, child care, and other expenses related to disruptions in their higher education.
“Given the varying needs of student populations at each institution of higher education, we believe colleges and universities should have the latitude to prioritize students in greatest need of assistance, irrespective of citizenship status, and determine the manner in which to provide that aid, including through indirect, noncash relief.”
The letter is signed by 87 Members of Congress including, Rep. J. Luis Correa, Rep. Raúl Grijalva, Rep. Pramila Jayapal, Rep. Alma S. Adams, Ph.D., Rep. Nanette Diaz Barragán, Rep. Karen Bass, Rep. Donald S. Beyer Jr., Rep. Earl Blumenauer, Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, Rep. Julia Brownley, Rep. Salud Carbajal, Rep. Tony Cárdenas, Rep. André Carson, Rep. Sean Casten, Rep. Joaquin Castro, Rep. Judy Chu, Rep. David N. Cicilline, Rep. Gilbert R. Cisneros, Jr., Rep. Katherine Clark, Rep. Yvette D. Clarke, Rep. Gerald E. Connolly, Rep. Jim Cooper, Rep. Jim Costa, Rep. TJ Cox, Rep. Danny K. Davis, Rep. Diana DeGette, Rep. Debbie Dingell , Rep. Eliot L. Engel, Rep. Veronica Escobar, Rep. Adriano Espaillat, Rep. Bill Foster, Rep. Sylvia R. Garcia, Rep. Jesús G. “Chuy” García, Rep. Jimmy Gomez, Rep. Vicente Gonzalez, Rep. Al Green, Rep. Deb Haaland, Rep. Alcee L. Hastings, Rep. Jahana Hayes, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, Rep. Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, Jr., Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy, III, Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick , Rep. Barbara Lee, Rep. Zoe Lofgren, Rep. Alan Lowenthal, Rep. Doris O. Matsui, Rep. A. Donald McEachin, Rep. James P. McGovern, Rep. Gregory W. Meeks, Rep. Grace Meng, Rep. Gwen Moore, Rep. Seth Moulton, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, Rep. Grace F. Napolitano, Rep. Joe Neguse, Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rep. Ilhan Omar, Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr., Rep. Jimmy Panetta, Rep. Mark Pocan, Rep. Ayanna Pressley, Rep. Jamie Raskin, Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, Rep. Michael F.Q. San Nicolas, Rep. Linda T. Sánchez, Rep. Jan Schakowsky, Rep. José E. Serrano, Rep. Terri A. Sewell, Rep. Albio Sires, Rep. Donna E. Shalala, Rep. Adam Smith, Rep. Darren Soto, Rep. Thomas R. Suozzi, Rep. Mark Takano, Rep. Mike Thompson, Rep. Dina Titus, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, Rep. Norma J. Torres, Rep. Lori Trahan, Rep. Juan Vargas, Rep. Filemon Vela, Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez, Rep. Frederica S. Wilson, Rep. John Yarmuth