Betsy DeVos tells colleges not to give coronavirus aid to illegal immigrants

  • Department of Education officials issued guidance saying that illegal immigrant students were not the intended recipients of money from the coronavirus stimulus.
  • Colleges and universities received $14 billion from the stimulus and will direct part of the funding to students.
  • Questions previously arose on whether illegal immigrants were eligible for aid.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos issued guidance Tuesday reminding colleges that financial assistance provided by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act was never intended for illegal immigrant students.

As reported by Politico, the rule states that only students who qualify for federal financial aid, which includes U.S. citizens and some legal immigrants, are eligible for the more than $6 billion in emergency aid funding intended to go directly to students impacted by the pandemic. The $6 billion is part of the more than $14 billion Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund, which is part of the $2.2 trillion CARES Act.  

“The CARES Act makes clear that this taxpayer-funded relief fund should be targeted to U.S. citizens, which is consistently echoed throughout the law"   

Guidelines published on the Department of Education website further explain that eligible students include those who have submitted the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or students who have not filed FAFSAs but are eligible. The CARES Act allocated $14 billion for higher education institutions, $6 billion of which must go directly to students to help with expenses associated with campus closures.

[RELATED: College bailout money could go to illegal immigrants]

Colleges and universities had previously inquired about whether the funding could be used for illegal immigrant students, which include students with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status. 

DACA advocates estimate there could be as many as 160,000 DACA students enrolled in higher education. Another recent report by New American Economy claimed there are approximately a total of 450,000 illegal immigrant students enrolled in higher education.

 [RELATED: New report reveals astonishing number of illegal immigrants enrolled in American universities]

In a statement, Education Department spokeswoman Liz Hill said the CARES Act is clearly for American citizens. 

“The CARES Act makes clear that this taxpayer-funded relief fund should be targeted to U.S. citizens, which is consistently echoed throughout the law,” Hill said.

Follow the author of this article on Facebook: @eduneret and Twitter: @eduneret

Get exclusive access to breaking CampusReform stories as they happen. Sign up below and we'll keep you in the loop.
 Weekly Digest

 Daily Emails

Eduardo Neret
Eduardo Neret | Digital Reporter

Eduardo Neret is a digital reporter for Campus Reform. Prior to taking on his current position, Eduardo served as the Senior Florida Correspondent for Campus Reform and founded a conservative web publication where he hosted a series of interviews with notable conservative commentators and public figures. Eduardo’s work has appeared on the Fox News Channel,, The Washington Examiner, Daily Caller, The Drudge Report, The Blaze, and The Daily Wire. He most recently served as a contributor to the Red Alert Politics section of The Washington Examiner. In addition to his independent journalism, Neret also previously worked at the Department of Justice and the Fox News Channel. He has appeared on numerous radio programs and NewsMaxTV to discuss his work and comment on relevant political issues.

20 Articles by Eduardo Neret