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State

UI: We can't provide legal help for students in DACA program

URBANA (AP) – University of Illinois officials say they can’t provide legal help to students affected by changes to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program but that they’ll try to connect them with lawyers.

On Sept. 5, President Donald Trump’s administration began dismantling DACA, the government program protecting young immigrants who were brought into the country illegally as children. New applications will be halted for the program, which has provided nearly 800,000 young immigrants a reprieve from deportation and the ability to work legally in the U.S.

Two lawyers who are alumni of the university will be available to meet one-on-one with students concerned about the administration’s plans to repeal the program in March, The News-Gazette reported.

University officials said the lawyers will connect students with direct legal help if needed.

“We just want to be as supportive as we can,” said Chancellor Robert Jones. “We feel very strongly that this decision is unfair. It is very much incompatible with our mission of access.”

Jones said he plans to work with other higher-education groups such as the Association of Public Land-grant Universities and the Association of American Universities, to “continue to advocate for protection for these young men and women at our university.”

The Illinois Student Senate also will consider a resolution today that urges the university to support the students affected by the program.

University officials said it has about 200 or more DACA recipients across its three campuses.

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Information from: The News-Gazette, http://www.news-gazette.com

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