UC Immigrant Legal Services Center
The University of California Immigrant Legal Services Center serves the immigration-related legal needs of undocumented and immigrant students in the University of California system.
Operating out of UC Davis School of Law, the groundbreaking program reaches out to students at UC campuses —UC Davis, UC Irvine, UCLA, UC Merced, UC San Francisco, UC Santa Cruz, UC Santa Barbara, UC San Diego, and UC Riverside—to provide, free of charge, the legal assistance they need in order to achieve their educational goals and reach their full potential.
California is home to approximately 2.5 million undocumented immigrants—more than any other state. Many who were brought into the country as children now find themselves encountering significant barriers as they pursue higher education. Among other problems, undocumented students face difficulties in applying for work and financial aid, and they often fear that disclosing their status to school administrators will have legal consequences for their families. The state and federal governments offer programs that can help, but successful use of these resources requires a level of legal expertise not readily available in most immigrant communities. The UC Immigrant Legal Services Center helps to fill that need.
July 20, 2021
Statement & FAQ Regarding Texas v. USA, issued July 16, 2021
A federal court in Texas v. USA has ruled that DACA is unlawful and has invalidated the DACA memorandum, originally issued in 2012 by former Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary and UC President Janet Napolitano. This case is different from the Supreme Court’s decision in 2020. Last year, the Supreme Court ruled that the manner in which the Trump administration terminated DACA was unlawful, but it left open the question whether DACA itself was lawful.
While this comes as a blow to DACAmented and DACA-eligible individuals nationwide, we are hopeful that the courts, Congress, and/or President Biden will restore and strengthen protections for undocumented youth and their families in the near future.
- What does this mean for current DACA recipients with pending DACA renewal applications?
If you are already a DACA recipient, your DACA renewal application will be processed.
- What does this mean for current DACA recipients who will need to renew their DACA in the future?
If you are a current DACA recipient, please renew your DACA in a timely manner with the assistance of a qualified attorney or BIA representative. USCIS recommends renewing 120 – 150 days prior to expiration. This is true for those who recently received DACA for the first time.
- What does this mean for first-time DACA applicants who already submitted their DACA initial applications?
The court has ordered any pending initial DACA requests be put on hold. These DACA initial applications will not be approved nor denied as of 07/17/2021.
- I filed a DACA initial and have been scheduled for biometrics; should I attend my appointment?
No. All biometrics appointments for initial DACA requestors are cancelled.
- What does this mean for individuals who wish to apply for DACA for the first time but have not yet submitted their applications?
Initial DACA requests will still be accepted by USCIS but will be placed on hold – these DACA initial applications will not be approved nor denied as of 07/17/2021. Please speak with a qualified attorney about whether you should or should not request DACA.
- Is there risk of deportation associated with filing a DACA initial?
The majority of DACA eligible individuals are generally not an “enforcement priority.” Currently, ICE is directed to prioritize individuals who are considered a threat to national security, border security, or public safety.
- What does this mean for current DACA recipients who want to travel abroad on Advance Parole?
USCIS Acting Director Tracy Renaud stated on Monday that individuals who currently have DACA will continue to be eligible to “request and receive advance parole,” and that USCIS will provide specific guidance in the coming days. If you are considering applying for Advance Parole, you should speak with a qualified attorney to discuss your situation.
- What’s next?
In his July 17 Statement, President Biden announced that the Department of Justice intends to appeal Texas v. USA to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, “in order to preserve and fortify DACA.” He also stated that DHS plans to issue a proposed rule to the Federal Register, wherein DACA would become a federal regulation rather than an executive order; the Texas court stated that this process would be necessary for DACA to exist as a legally binding policy. Lastly, Biden acknowledged that “only Congress can ensure a permanent solution by granting a path to citizenship for Dreamers . . . ”
Our center will be watching closely as things evolve and will continue to provide updates. Please contact your campus attorney if you have questions or concerns.
UC Immigrant Legal Services Center
November 9, 2020
The UC Immigrant Legal Services Center congratulates President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. It is our great hope that the election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will reverse the many anti-immigrant policies of the Trump administration.
In the months leading up to the election, we have been working to increase our capacity to assist the many students and family members who may be newly eligible for immigration relief under a Biden administration. President-elect Biden has declared his intent to upend many of Trump’s anti-immigrant policies during his first 100 days in office. This includes: reinstating the DACA program, reasserting America’s commitment to asylum-seekers and refugees, and reversing Trump's public charge rule. The UC Immigrant Legal Services Center will be tracking these changes closely and providing updates as they become available.
We continue to encourage students and family members to take advantage of our free legal consultations now and in the coming months.
And finally, we must all celebrate our resiliency and continue to advocate for more permanent forms of immigration relief for more immigrants!
Biden's full immigration plan can be viewed at: https://joebiden.com/immigration/
As always, please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions.
The UC Immigrant Legal Services Center team
June 18, 2020
In a resounding victory for DACA recipients, their families and communities, and for all those who support justice and equality, on June 18, 2020 the United States Supreme Court held that the Trump administration violated the law when it rescinded DACA in an arbitrary and capricious manner. The Court held that the administration did not consider the wide-ranging reliance on DACA by individuals, institutions and employers. It noted the significant societal contributions by DACA holders, including their significant economic contributions. The Court also held that the administration’s explanations to the Court for its policy decision to end DACA were insufficient, erroneous and amounted to “after the fact” rationalizations. The persistent and courageous organizing by immigrants made this result possible. Now we must all work to enact a permanent solution through a Dream Act and comprehensive immigration reform. In the next few days we will be reviewing the legal documents more closely and will provide advice on the submission of first time new DACA applications and Advance Parole.
The UC Immigrant Legal Services Center encourages students to contact us for services continuing updates.
Get in Touch
IMPORTANT NOTE re: COVID-19 (“Coronavirus”)
Our Center’s physical offices are closed at this time. However, we are still working and available remotely. If you are seeking our services or need to get in touch with us, please contact us via phone or email.
Our attorneys visit the campuses two to three times a quarter to provide full legal services. To learn more about our services, please visit the “Services for Students and Families” link.
To make an appointment or to find out more about our services and scheduled visits, please contact us. You can find our information on the “Contact Us” tab.
You can also visit our Facebook page.
The UC Immigrant Legal Services Center thanks the NextGen Foundation for its generous one year gift of $90,000 to support legal services at our Southern California Campuses and it's in-kind support to help other post-secondary institutions across the country and in California with a tool kit and technical assistance to help start up legal immigration services for their students. The UCIMM Toolkit Site is composed of key resources to help establish immigration legal services for students.
Please check out the UCIMM Toolkit Site here: https://ucimmtoolkit.ucop.edu