Senator Murray: “It shouldn’t matter if you are undocumented or a DACA recipient—every student struggling because of this pandemic deserves access to emergency aid that can make all the difference.”
Last year, Senator Murray pushed the Trump Administration to follow Congressional intent and ensure undocumented students and DACA recipients could access emergency financial aid
(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Senator Patty Murray, Chair of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP), released the following statement on Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona’s announcement that all higher education students—including over 400,000 higher education students who are undocumented or DACA recipients—are eligible for emergency financial aid made available through the American Rescue Plan (ARP), the COVID-19 relief bill passed in December, and the CARES Act.
The announcement reverses the harmful and unauthorized restrictions—that were contrary to Congressional intent—issued by former Secretary DeVos and the Trump Administration blocking undocumented students and DACA recipients from accessing emergency financial aid.
“Across Washington state and the country, so many higher education students are struggling to pay rent, put food on the table, or scrape together enough money for next semester’s tuition. It shouldn’t matter if you are undocumented or a DACA recipient—every student struggling because of this pandemic deserves access to emergency aid that can make all the difference. After so many months of pushing back against the previous Administration, I’m so relieved that Secretary Cardona took this important step and ended former Secretary DeVos’ cruel decision to block aid from undocumented students and DACA recipients.
“I also know there’s much more that needs to be done to give undocumented students the fair opportunity they deserve—including creating a fair pathway to citizenship for every person willing to work hard at the American dream.”
Last year, Senator Murray urged then Secretary DeVos to reverse the guidance, and later an interim rule, blocking students from aid. In a statement, she stressed that, “Secretary DeVos pushing DACA recipients, undocumented students and other vulnerable students out of needed relief from the CARES Act is cruel. This virus doesn’t discriminate when it comes to the students who are impacted, and our response absolutely shouldn’t either.”
Murray recently called for exploring every legislative path, including budget reconciliation, to enact comprehensive immigration reform with a fair pathway to citizenship for the more than 11 million undocumented residents living in the United States.