UW Responds To DACA Announcement

Sep 7, 2017

Credit Old Main by thecoldmidwest is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The University of Wyoming is closely monitoring federal decisions that could affect its immigrant students.

After Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced this week that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, would be phased out, University President Laurie Nichols said in a statement the school is keeping a close eye on the situation.

Nichols also said the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, or FERPA, will remain in place at the University of Wyoming.

This means a student's records will not be released without either written consent from the that student, a lawfully issued subpoena, a warrant or judicial order. However, because of the Patriot Act of 2001, it’s not clear whether FERPA rights could be waived if agencies like Homeland Security, or Immigration and Customs Enforcement, requested those records.

Nichols encouraged UW students and employees affected by the DACA changes to contact the College of Law’s Adam Severson, who currently works as the Robert J Golten Fellow and has been tasked with providing legal information related to immigration issues. He said it’s been a busy time.

“A lot of reading, a lot of getting up to date on what’s happened as a consequence of the administration’s announcement yesterday regarding DACA,” Severson said. “Information is coming fast and furious, much of it is accurate, some of it is almost certainly not. So I’ve just been spending time getting educated and answering questions from affected students and from some faculty.”

It’s hard to know how many DACA students attend UW, since the university doesn't have to obtain that information from students, but it’s estimated that there are 621 DACA recipients across the state.