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How Does the End of DACA Affect Universities?

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Western Kentucky University is reacting to President Donald Trump’s decision to suspend the DACA program which has given undocumented students temporary protection from deportation since 2012. 

In many cases, DACA or Deffered Action on Childhood Arrivals, has given young immigrants known as Dreamers the opportunity to pursue a college education.

In a statement, WKU says “our priority continues to be supporting our students regardless of nationality, religion, ethnicity, and other aspects of our diverse community.” 

However, the university says it will comply with all federal and state regulations, including privacy protections afforded by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, or FERPA.

"DACA students are covered by FERPA and we will protect their identity as we would any other student," said university spokesman Bob Skipper.

If a federal agency such as ICE was to visit campus, Skipper adds that the university would not share any student's information with immigration officials without a court order.

Students don’t have to disclose their DACA status on university forms.  Disclosure is voluntary.  WKU knows of only three students the president’s action may affect. 

DACA protections cover immigrants in the U.S. since 2007 who were under the age of 16 at the time of their arrival and under the age of 31 by 2012.  In order to quality, DACA recipients have to be in an approved work or education program.

Lisa is a Scottsville native and WKU alum. She has worked in radio as a news reporter and anchor for 18 years. Prior to joining WKU Public Radio, she most recently worked at WHAS in Louisville and WLAC in Nashville. She has received numerous awards from the Associated Press, including Best Reporter in Kentucky. Many of her stories have been heard on NPR.
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