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TESOL Statement on CARES Act Guidance for DACA Recipients

by User Not Found | 04/27/2020
TESOL International Association is deeply concerned about the recent CARES Act guidance issued by U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. The secretary’s guidance bars any of the $6.2 billion in federal CARES Act funding for colleges and universities from reaching Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) students. Because of this potentially harmful guidance, stimulus funding, meant to help students during the ongoing health and financial crises, will not be going to those who are depending on this critical financial lifeline. Further, by prohibiting DACA students from receiving CARES Act aid, the guidance ignores and devalues the significant contributions DACA recipients have made to their local and state communities and economies. 

The CARES Act makes no mention of citizenship status with regard to the emergency student aid it provides. TESOL strongly believes the Department’s interpretation of this law will ultimately do more harm to DACA students in need of financial relief during these unprecedented times. 

Having been a strong proponent of the rights of DACA recipients for many years, and on behalf of our membership that includes over 11,000 English language teachers and professionals, TESOL now calls on the U.S. Department of Education and Secretary DeVos to rescind this guidance and allow DACA students to receive this vital financial aid.