Frequently Asked Questions

Georgetown’s Support for Undocumented Students: Frequently Asked Questions

Q.  How is the University supporting undocumented students?

Georgetown University is committed to supporting undocumented students and the unique challenges they may face. Georgetown recently appointed a coordinator to support students who may be undocumented. In addition, Georgetown has a working group of faculty, staff and students who meet regularly to focus on supporting undocumented students.

President DeGioia will continue to support and advocate for federal efforts in support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative, the Bar Removal of Individuals who Dream and Grow our Economy (BRIDGE) Act, and the DREAM Act, federal legislation that would lead to a permanent path to legal permanent residency for undocumented students. Many of President DeGioia’s statements in support of undocumented students can be found here: http://undocumented.georgetown.edu/public-statements

Georgetown created a website devoted to providing information about resources and guidance to undocumented students and prospective students: https://undocumented.georgetown.edu/.  

Q. What is DACA?

On June 15, 2012, President Obama announced that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) would not deport certain undocumented youth who came to the United States as children, commonly referred to as “Dreamers.” DHS issued a directive granting these individuals temporary permission to stay in the U.S.  This program is called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).  DACA does not grant a legal status or offer a permanent residency or citizenship for these individuals but directs that they will not be deported for a period of time.

Individuals are eligible for DACA if they were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, were under the age of 31 at that time, came to the U.S. before their 16th birthday, continuously resided in the U.S. since June 15, 2007, are currently in school or have graduated with a GED, have not been convicted of a felony or significant misdemeanors, and pose no threat to national security or public safety.

DACA is not a law and it is unclear at this time how the DACA program may be impacted or changed by the Trump Administration.

Q. My DACA status is expiring, is now a good time to renew it?  

DACA students who are within 180 days of the end of their status period may apply for renewal.  While DACA is not a law and it is unclear at this time how the DACA program may be changed by the new Administration, our current understanding is that the federal government continues to grant DACA extensions. Immigration experts are currently recommending that students with DACA status continue to submit applications for renewal.  

Georgetown has contracted with Catholic Charities Immigration Legal Services to offer free legal advice to students interested in applying for or renewing DACA.  Information is available here: https://www.catholiccharitiesdc.org/ILS.  In addition, students should contact the Office of Student Financial Services for support in renewing DACA.

Q. I am a student with DACA status, is it ok to travel at this time?

Individuals on DACA may make a request for advance parole to travel from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.  However, given the uncertainty regarding whether changes may be implemented to DACA by the Trump Administration, immigration experts are currently recommending that undocumented students not travel outside of the U.S., regardless of whether they have DACA status and have been granted advanced parole.

Q. I am considering applying for DACA.  Is now a good time to do it?

Immigration experts are currently advising that individuals who have not already applied for DACA consider waiting to apply until the status of DACA under the new Administration is clear.

Georgetown has contracted with Catholic Charities Immigration Legal Services to offer free legal advice to students interested in applying for or renewing DACA.  Information is available here: https://www.catholiccharitiesdc.org/ILS.

Q. What is the BRIDGE Act?

The BRIDGE Act (Bar Removal of Individuals who Dream of Growing our Economy) is bipartisan legislation that has been introduced in the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives that would offer “provisional protected presence” to previous beneficiaries of DACA. The BRIDGE Act would be a legislative solution that would continue deportation relief and access to a work permit for three years for individuals covered by DACA. Additional information about the BRIDGE Act can be found here: https://www.nilc.org/issues/daca/faq-bridge-act/.

Q. Does Georgetown admit students and provide funding to students who are undocumented?

Georgetown welcomes and supports students of all backgrounds without regard to their immigration status. We welcome all interested individuals to apply and we do not require students to provide proof of citizenship.  Georgetown is proud of its need-blind/meet full need policy regarding all of its undergraduate students.  Consistent with that commitment, although Federal aid programs are not available to undocumented students, Georgetown provides institutional aid to all undergraduate students who qualify for need-based aid, without regard to immigration status.

Q. What information does Georgetown disclose to the Department of Homeland Security immigration authorities about its undocumented students?

Georgetown protects the privacy of student information and records consistent with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).  Georgetown will not release information regarding undocumented student immigration status to the Department of Homeland Security, unless legally compelled to do so (e.g., a warrant, subpoena or other court order).

Q. Does Georgetown University Police Department (GUPD) arrest students who are undocumented?

Students will not be held or arrested by GUPD on the basis of immigration status alone. GUPD does not have the responsibility to enforce federal laws regarding immigration status and will not ask students about their immigration status.

Q. I am an undocumented student. Who should I reach out to for support?

Undocumented students or those who know of undocumented students seeking support should reach out to Arelis Palacios, advisor to undocumented students, at ap1431@georgetown.edu, phone: 202-687-6240. Georgetown will not release information about any student who visits the advisor to anyone outside of the University, unless legally compelled to do so.  Students concerned about confidentiality may contact the advisor anonymously at the telephone number above or reach out to the Catholic Charities Immigration Legal Services:  https://www.catholiccharitiesdc.org/ILS.

Date Updated: January 31, 2017