Cornell University CARES Act Funds/HEERF Disbursement for Undocumented Students

Cornell University CARES Act Funds/HEERF Disbursement for Undocumented Students

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Thomas O'Conner started this petition to Cornell University and

Cornell University received $12.8 million from the federal government as part of the coronavirus stimulus package, and says it plans to use the money to support students. 

Cornell said Wednesday, April 22, 2020, the university plans to use 100% of the funds from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act “Education Stabilization Fund" to support students, surpassing the federal requirements that half of the funds are set aside for emergency financial assistance for students. However, the most underrepresented and underserved students are excluded from the relief package. 

DACA students and other long-term undocumented students are an intergal part of the Cornell community, but are excluded from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF). Cornell University's President Martha Pollack said,

"Cornell, since its founding, has been committed to diversity and inclusion, and DACA students are an integral part of our community. They were brought to this country before they had a choice in the matter, have grown up here, and are succeeding here despite significant challenges and obstacles. I believe they deserve a chance to fulfill their dreams..." 

Colleges were directed under the CARES Act to use emergency grants to pay for expenses such as rent, child care, technology and groceries due to disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Betsy DeVos, Education Secretary, restricted funding to "tax-paying citizens." DACA students, who pay over $50 million in taxes each year, did not meet this requirement. There are a number of US colleges providing Covid-19 emergency funds to undocumented students, these included, but are not limited to: Amherst College, Rutgers, UC Berkeley, University of Chicago, Colorado State University...

Please sign this petition to urge Cornell University to take measures to protect their most vulnerable population by providing equitable financial assistance to those in need. We hope that this will encourage additional colleges to follow suit and support undocumented students with and without DACA; students who are excluded from federal assistance and are among the hardest hit by the current pandemic. Moreover, Cornell University and New York State can work together to force change. Whether it's through legal avenues or more equitable disbursement of relief funds. 

Share this message and your opinions with Cornell's President Martha Pollack at: president@cornell.edu. 

Click here for office contact information.

Click here for Cornell's DACA support leadership.

Thank you for your support!

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