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As uncertainty over President Trump’s immigration policies persists, attorneys at the UC Immigrant Legal Services Center have become academia’s go-to experts. Should students apply for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, and give their personal information to the Trump administration? Should they travel abroad and risk being denied reentry?
Can students rest easy with the recent news that U.S. immigration officials actually approved more DACA applications in the first three months of this year than in the same period last year?
The center’s attorneys wrestle with such questions daily — along with a soaring workload. Maria Blanco, an attorney who heads the University of California Immigrant Legal Services Center, estimates that cases totaled more than 800 for the 2016-17 academic year, compared with 362 last year. Most of them involve DACA applications, travel permissions, help for students’ families and general consultations.