Supporting DACA recipients

Steps that UW-Madison is taking to support DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program) recipients, including guidance on what members of our community should know to help better understand the potential impact of pending legislative changes.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison welcomes and supports students without regard to their immigration status.

You belong here

Dreamers are welcome at UW-MadionRegardless of immigration status, UW-Madison wants all students to know that, “You belong here” and are an integral part of the UW campus community.

As a student population in the U.S., there are unique challenges for dreamers who may be DACAmented, undocumented.

The Chancellor’s Office has publicized a statement on executive order on immigration and has signed a statement in support of DACA and Undocumented Immigrant Students and issued a statement supporting non-immigrant visas.

What is DACA?

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, commonly known as “DACA”, is a program that allows some unauthorized immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children to request deferred removal action. Individuals granted DACA status are allowed to stay in the U.S. for generally a two-year period, subject to renewal, and to also obtain work authorization.

Current DACA recipients will maintain the benefits through the expiration date of their status, at which time they will no longer be eligible for deferred action.

Those protected under DACA are known as “Dreamers.” DACA was a compromise devised by the Obama administration after Congress failed to pass the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (Dream) Act, which would have offered the chance of permanent legal residency.

UW-Madison Protects DACA privacy

UW-Madison will not provide information on the immigration status of its students, faculty, or staff unless required to do so under the force of law. UW-Madison also does not hold any official records related to an individual’s DACA status, nor does the UW have access to that information.

The federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) generally prohibits the university from sharing information from your education records without your written consent. However, there are exceptions.

All employees (including professors) are obligated to follow the same FERPA restrictions noted above. Whether information should be released will always depend on who is asking, what information is being requested, and whether you have a FERPA hold on your student records.

The Office of the Registrar helps all students with their questions about student records and privacy:

When will your DACA Information be shared?

Certain information about you, referred to as “Directory Information” can be shared with others without your consent. Directory information is public information unless you have a FERPA hold on your student record and for third-party requests (like a company wanting to market to students). Understand more about directory information.

Even with a FERPA hold, the university may share your information with others in certain situations. For example, UW-Madison employees with an academic need to know (like your professor) will still be able to access certain pieces of your student record. We may also be legally required to provide information from your education record in response to a subpoena or other governmental order or request.