More than two dozen Democratic Senators on Monday criticized Education Secretary Betsy Devos’ decision to exclude undocumented college students from the coronavirus aid provided under the CARES Act.
“This decision unnecessarily harms students in need, and contradicts clear Congressional intent and the plain language of the CARES Act,” said the 28 Democratic Senators in a letter to DeVos. “We expect you to comply with the intent of the CARES Act and reverse this unauthorized decision immediately.”
Guidance released last week from the Department of Education bars undocumented, or DACA, students from receiving federal emergency cash funds. DACA refers to those under the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
“During this Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, DACA recipients attending institutions of higher education across the country face challenges like other students, many with the added burden of supporting their parents and siblings or being the first in their families to attend college,” said the letter initiated by Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), and signed by, among others, Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii).