Press Releases

Rep. Roybal-Allard Applauds Biden Administration Decision to Allow Undocumented Students Access to Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds

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Washington, May 14, 2021 | Benjamin Bryant ((202) 309-2383) | comments

Washington, D.C. – This week, The U.S. Department of Education announced that it will allow undocumented college students to access over $36 billion in federal Coronavirus relief funding, authorized through the American Rescue Plan. The decision reverses Trump-era guidance that made undocumented students ineligible to receive relief funding. Additionally, the Department released new guidance detailing how institutions can use these funds to support students with “exceptional need,” retain and reengage students, and prevent and help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Per the Department’s directive, in order to be eligible for these funds, students must be enrolled or must have been enrolled at an eligible institution on or after the COVID-19 national emergency was declared on March 13, 2020.

After the Department’s announcement, U.S. Representative Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40), an original co-author of the Dream Act, issued the following statement:   

“I applaud the Biden Administration’s Department of Education for its decision to allow over 5,000 institutions of higher education to provide over $36 billion in American Rescue Plan relief funding to undocumented students, including Dreamers and DACA recipients. These funds are intended to assist students who come from communities that have been hit hardest by the effects of the pandemic, and who are no less deserving of relief funding than anyone else.

“I was proud to vote for the American Rescue Plan to help bring relief to those who need it the most, and I thank President Biden and Secretary Cardona for making this decision. I am glad that our undocumented students will now be able to use these funds to help them afford food, housing, childcare, and other essentials so they can focus on their education and future careers during these difficult times.”

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