Immigrant advocates are continuing to call for congressional action on immigration. One of the key items for higher education institutions included in the budget reconciliation bill passed by the House on Friday is an expansion of federal financial aid eligibility to include individuals with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) or Temporary Protected Status (TPS). The proposal would open up eligibility to Pell Grants along with federal loans and Federal Work-Study programs. Currently, while graduates of Minnesota schools have access to state- and institutional-based financial aid under the Minnesota Dream Act, they are unable to access federal financial aid. The proposal is supported by organizations like the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration, TheDream.US, and UnidosUS.
The House's legislation also extends protections from deportation, creates additional opportunities for work permits, and creates a mechanism to recapture unused visas. The Senate is expected to consider the bill soon although it is not certain that the immigration items will be included.