Following Steadfast Advocacy, President Biden’s Department of Education Reversed Trump Rule Barring Undocumented Students from COVID-19 Funding

Jose Munoz Press Releases

A new rule submitted to the federal register reverses prior guidance under the Trump administration which barred undocumented students from COVID-19 relief.

For Immediate Release
Contact: José Alonso Muñoz | | 202.810.0746

Washington, D.C. – Today the Department of Education announced new guidance which would reverse former Trump-era Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ callous decision to exclude undocumented students from COVID-19 funding. This decision barred undocumented students from receiving federal relief to help cover food, housing, and childcare during the middle of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.  Organizers and advocates widely condemned the callous move by the Trump administration’s Department of Education, including a letter led by United We Dream signed by over 260 organizations calling for it to be reversed. 

We encourage undocumented students should work with their college or university to answer questions about accessing these much needed emergency funds. 

Juliana Macedo do Nascimento, Senior Advocacy Manager of United We Dream, said:

“Today we celebrate the decision by the Biden administration’s Department of Education to lift the callous rule by the prior administration to deny undocumented students from emergency COVID-19 relief for food, housing, childcare and more during a pandemic. This comes after the continued steadfast advocacy from immigrant youth and allies. Undocumented people have been largely left out of federal COVID-19 relief, so access to the $39.6 billion in federal aid for undocumented students is crucial. 

Undocumented immigrants have been part of our country’s response to the COVID-19 crisis, helping to keep us safe, fed, and healthy. However, immigration status remains one of the main barriers to access for COVID-19 relief, including unemployment benefits, health care, stimulus checks, and at times even the vaccine. That is why it’s imperative that President Biden and Congress move to pass a pathway to citizenship for millions of undocumented people including immigrant youth, TPS holders, farm workers, and essential workers. This decision by the Department of Education shows the Biden administration understands that our community needs relief, and citizenship is relief.”


United We Dream is the largest immigrant youth-led organization in the nation, a powerful network made up of over 400,000 members and 48 affiliate organizations across 26 states. UWD’s vision is to build a multi-racial, multi-ethnic movement of young people who organize and advocate at the local and national levels for the dignity and justice of immigrants and communities of color in the United States.