The federal government has sole authority over immigration law. Unfortunately, that has not stopped Georgia and some other states from enacting harsh anti-immigrant policies. Now, some brave young adults are suing the state's top public universities over what they allege are unfair admissions practices based on their immigration status.
The lawsuit was filed earlier this month by three undocumented students against the University of Georgia, Georgia Tech, Georgia College and State University, Georgia State University and Augusta University.
The young adults who filed the lawsuit are undocumented, but have legal status in the U.S. through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. That means they were brought to the U.S. when they were children. They have all graduated high school.
If You Are In DACA, You Are In The U.S. Legally
The lawsuit states that university officials are relying on a Georgia law to deny admission to undocumented applicants for the state's most selective public colleges. Those colleges do not admit all students who meet academic admissions requirements.
Once you enroll and are accepted into DACA, you are in the United States legally. No state official can claim otherwise. While you will have to reapply every two years, if you stay in school or continue working, and avoid running into trouble with the law, you will not have to worry about deportation.
Legal status in the eyes of the federal government should trump a state law that says you are undocumented. Judges have ruled time and again that states have no authority to enact restrictive immigration laws, such as those barring undocumented immigrants from receiving driver's licenses.
If you have questions about DACA and whether you are eligible, your first step should be to contact an experienced immigration attorney. Enrolling in the program will open up many possibilities for a better future in the U.S. for you. This includes the ability to go to college, which can help you build a career.
However, it is important to go through the application steps correctly. A lawyer will help you address every detail.