U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’s decision to bar undocumented and other students from receiving CARES Act emergency grants is likely to be invalidated by the courts, the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service has reportedly concluded.
According to a memo obtained by Politico, the research service noted that the Education Department did not conduct a notice-and-comment rule-making process and concluded, “The secretary’s interpretation is not a particularly persuasive reading of the statute.”
The California community college system and the Washington State attorney general in separate lawsuits are challenging DeVos's decision.
DeVos has said that Congress in the CARES Act limited emergency grants only to those eligible for regular student aid, excluding undocumented students as well as others for reasons like having poor grades or having defaulted on student loans. But Senator Patty Murray and others disputed that was Congress’s intent. The memo was created at the request of aides to Murray, the top Democrat on the Senate education committee, Politico reported.