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Democrats Again Call for Aid to Undocumented Students

August 5, 2020

Nineteen Democrats on the House education committee wrote Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Tuesday protesting her decision to withhold about $7 billion of emergency coronavirus grants in the CARES Act from undocumented immigrants and other college students.

DeVos’s decision, based in part on a federal prohibition on non-U.S. citizens receiving most kinds of federal aid, has angered Democrats. It is also a dividing point in the current stalemate in Congress over the next coronavirus relief package after Democrats called for reversing her decision in their proposal for the package, while the Republican proposal called for no changes.

In addition to undocumented immigrants, DeVos’s decision also precludes millions of other college students from getting the aid to help with housing, food and other costs. DeVos had barred those ineligible for student loans from getting the grants, including college students with poor grades and those who have defaulted on loans.

In the letter, Congressman Bobby Scott, chairman of the House education committee, and the other Democrats wrote, “The Department’s continued insistence on enforcing these restrictions will further harm vulnerable students and make it harder for institutions to provide effective support.”

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Kery Murakami

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