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U.S. Executive Actions

University support for DACA students, and international students and faculty

Many in our campus community are dealing with questions and concerns about recent U.S. executive actions and statements relating to the travel ban and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, and the current and future implications for student, faculty, and staff activities and our international programs.

This webpage is a portal to the information and resources that the university provides to guide and support those with questions and concerns.

Visas and Travel

  • Cornell’s International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO) is here to help and support all members of the Cornell community: students, staff, and faculty. The ISSO staff can offer visa advice, immigration interview preparation, and generally answer all questions related to studying or working at Cornell. In difficult cases, ISSO works directly with lawyers and U.S. Congressional staff on individual case management. To speak with an ISSO staff member directly, please call +1 (607) 255-5243 or email ISSO@cornell.edu.
  • If you are a current student, scholar or staff member traveling abroad and you are not permitted to return to the United States or have urgent immigration questions, please call the Cornell Police at +1 (607) 255-1111 anytime, day or night; they will notify an ISSO staff member immediately. In addition, clinical faculty at Cornell Law School will provide—without charge—advice and legal assistance to Cornell students who are denied visas under the executive orders. Clinical faculty can also advise undocumented students (including DACA students) who would like to discuss the implications of the new administration for their status in the United States. For assistance, please contact Beth Lyon, clinical professor of law, Cornell Law School:  immigrationhelp@cornell.edu; +1 (706)-254-4638; or lyonbeth (Skype).
  • If you are a new or prospective student, scholar, or staff member planning your first visit or move to Ithaca, ISSO is happy to answer your questions, help with visa applications, provide advice for immigration interviews, and otherwise guide you through the visa process.
  • Cornell provides faculty, staff and students traveling on university business 100 miles or more away from their permanent residence or campus with access to travel planning information and the university's emergency travel assistance coverage while abroad. Cornellians can access this assistance from UnitedHealthcare with their netID through Cornell's Travel Registry.

DACA Program

  • On June 15, 2017, the Trump administration announced that it would continue the Obama-era program intended to protect Dreamers from deportation and provide them work permits. A U.S. Department of Homeland Security fact sheet states that immigrants enrolled in the 2012 program, known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, “will continue to be eligible” to renew every two years and notes that “no work permits will be terminated prior to their current expiration dates.” (Also see the FAQ.)
  • Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), a program in force since June 2012, provides temporary relief from deportation to individuals born after June 16, 1981 who have lived continuously in the United States since June 15, 2007. Individuals with DACA status (also known as “Dreamers”) can renew their status every two years. DACA is not a lawful status, but it confers important benefits, such as the ability to apply for temporary work permits and social security numbers.
  • On February 20, 2017, U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly issued two implementation memos, fact sheets, and questions and answers to the Department of Homeland Security workforce, providing further direction for implementing the recent executive orders calling for increased border security and tighter enforcement of interior immigration laws.
  • On April 10, 2017, Cornell University senior leaders issued a Joint statement affirming support for DACA students. The statement summarizes Cornell’s commitments regarding financial aid, summer housing options, protection of privacy, and legal assistance for current and prospective DACA students.
  • Cornell Law School has set up a new program to provide free legal advice to undocumented Cornell students who may wish to consult with a lawyer about the implications of national immigration policy shifts for their immigration status. And a team of law school faculty will also offer legal assistance in the form of representation for DACA students for which a legal representation fund has been established. For assistance, contact immigrationhelp@cornell.edu or call +1 (607) 254-4638.

  • For more information regarding university guidance and support for DACA students, contact the Cornell University Office of Academic Diversity Initiatives: OADI@cornell.edu.

Support at Cornell

 University Statements

 Guidance and Counseling

  • Cornell’s International Students and Scholars Office assists international students, academic staff, and their families by advising on U.S. federal immigration and other issues, and through web resources, information sessions, and events. They also provide counseling on personal, academic, and cultural matters. To speak with a staff member directly, email ISSO@cornell.edu.

  • Cornell's Office of Graduate Student Life serves the Cornell community in many capacities: discussing student concerns, providing available resources and services, and sharing options to handle difficult academic and personal situations. Contact Janna Lamey (janna.lamey@cornell.edu) to help identify appropriate resources.

  • The staff in Cornell's Dean of Students office is available for support, advice, guidance, and consultation navigating various circumstances. Contact dean_of_students@cornell.edu or +1 (607)-255-1115 to be connected with a resource.

  • Cornell's Office of Academic Diversity Initiatives offers general advising on personal and academic support, as well as planning for future academic and professional aims and referrals specifically for undocumented students as part of the trailblazers program.

  • Counseling and Psychological Services, or CAPS (including the Let’s Talk Program), a part of Cornell Health, is a confidential place to talk with a trained health-care professional about any concern. This may include stress, loneliness, anxiety, depression, adjustment challenges, relationship difficulties, questions about identity, managing an existing mental health condition, or other issues. Please call CAPS at +1 (607) 255-5155 to speak with a staff member directly.

  • Cornell's Faculty and Staff Assistance Program offers free and confidential guidance and support to benefits-eligible employees and their partners to address issues that may be affecting their personal lives and/or job satisfaction or performance. This confidential resource is part of Cornell's broad commitment to foster and support the mental health and well-being of the campus community.

 Legal Assistance

  • Clinical faculty at Cornell Law School will provide—without charge—legal assistance to Cornell students who are denied visas under the executive order. Specifically, Cornell Law School faculty will consult with those students about their legal options, represent them if they need to seek waivers from the order's restrictions, and make themselves available telephonically during student arrivals at U.S. ports of entry. In addition, law faculty are available to talk confidentially with undocumented students, including DACA students. For assistance, contact Beth Lyon, clinical professor of law, Cornell Law School: email immigrationhelp@cornell.edu, call +1 (607) 254-4638, or Skype: lyonbeth.

  • In addition, the Legal Information Institute at Cornell Law School is a not-for-profit group that believes everyone should be able to read and understand the laws that govern them, without cost. They publish law online, and create materials that help people understand the law.

     Summer Housing in Ithaca

Support from Off Campus

  • A blog for students and schools offers guidance about how to survive in the current immigration uncertainty; it is co-authored by Cornell Law Professor Stephen W. Yale-Loehr, who also practices immigration law at Miller Mayer LLP in Ithaca, New York, and Dan Berger, a partner at Curran & Berger, LLP in Northampton, Massachusetts.

  • Notifica app helps immigrants who have been detained. Developed by United We Dream, which is led by young immigrants, and the digital agency Huge, the app offers immigrants a way to set up an auto-notify to their families and loved ones that they can initiate if they are detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

  • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services provides updates on official government policies related to immigration into the United States.

  • American Civil Liberties Union provides information and resources to help defend the individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States.

  • NAFSA, the Association of International Educators, provides resources that include a summary of current immigration executive actions and the Visa Interview Waiver program.

  • Miller Mayer Attorneys at Law, Ithaca, NY, provides updates on topics such as enforcement news, travel ban, fiscal year 2018 H-1B, detention remedy chart, and more.

  • Association of American Universities issued a statement in response to the March 6, 2017 executive order and travel ban.

  • Association of Public & Land-Grant Universities issued a statement in response to the March 6, 2017 executive order and travel ban.

General Information about the Executive Actions


For more information, contact Laurie Damiani, Office of the Vice Provost for International Affairs: vpia@cornell.edu.