Each year, several thousand undocumented students graduate high school, many of whom have lived in the United States since childhood. Advising undocumented students can be difficult in uncertain times. This page may provide resources to answer any questions or to provide guidance on navigating the process to serve undocumented students.
On June 15, 2012, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that it would not deport certain undocumented youth who came to the US as children. Under a directive from the Obama Administration's DHS secretary, these youth may be granted a type of temporary permission to stay in the US called “deferred action.” The Obama administration called this program Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA.
President Donald Trump said during the 2016 campaign that he would rescind the Department of Homeland Security memo that authorizes the DACA program.
On February 20, 2017, the Trump Administration issued two new memos and a related fact sheet that expands the category of people classified as "priorities for removal." The DACA program is not impacted by these memos at the current time. However, some DACA students and/or undocumented students have been affected by the change in policy.
On July 20, 2017, Senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC) and Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) introduced the DREAM Act, which would continue DACA, protect those with DACA status from deportation, and provide eligible undocumented students the opportunity to earn lawful permanent residence. NACAC supports passage of this bill, and issued a press release urging Congress to act.
NACAC urges caution when applying for or renewing DACA status and recommends you to speak with an immigration attorney or a Board of Immigration Appeals–accredited representative if you are working with a student or group of students who may be undocumented and concerned about their future.
See below for more resources, or visit the following sites:
- American Council on Education, Sanctuary Campus Brief
- National Immigration Law Center, a non-profit dedicated to defending and advancing the rights of low-income immigrants.
- National Public Radio, describing what is in the DHS memos regarding immigration
- US Department of Homeland Security, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
- US Department of Education, Educational Resources for Immigrants, Refugees, Asylees and other New Americans
- US Department of Education, Supporting Undocumented Youth
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ED's Resource Guide: Supporting Undocumented Youth
This guide from the U.S. Department of Education provides information on DACA eligibility, state college admission and tuition policies, private scholarships, education records, and more for schools, counselors, educators, and others.Read More
IACAC's College Advising Guide- Undocumented Students
This web-based resource is designed to provide assistance to high school counselors and other individuals who work with undocumented students around college admission.Visit the Site
Advising Undocumented Students: FAQ for Counselors (Members only)
List of Frequently Asked Questions for college counselors advising undocumented students.Download the pdf
Federal Student Aid's Q&A: Advising Undocumented Students
This resource provides information on the financial aid process for undocumented students.Download the pdf
Top 10 Ways to Support Undocumented Students by E4FC
This pdf provides a quick list of tips for educators and school administrators who work closely with and are interested in better supporting undocumented students.Download the pdf