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.
However, on September 5, 2017, the Trump Administration announced that it would rescind the 2012 DACA decision, ending the DACA program by March 5, 2018. New applications filed after September 5 for DACA permits will be denied, and the future for current DACA recipients is unclear (the Department of Homeland Security issued a memo and frequently asked questions regarding the program’s wind down). NACAC opposes the decision to rescind DACA.
Given the uncertainty facing undocumented students and students granted DACA status, Senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC) and Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) recently 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. Similar legislation has been introduced in the House of Representatives. NACAC supports passage of the bill, and issued a press release urging Congress to act.
NACAC encourages 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:
- National Immigration Law Center, defending and advancing the rights of low-income immigrants
- Protect Dreamers Higher Education Coalition, fact sheet on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients.
- Department of Homeland Security, consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. (This page contains information that is no longer current but can be used for reference purposes.)
- Higher Education Compliance Alliance, provides resources for international, including undocumented, students and employees
- Immigrant Legal Resource Center, What Do I Need to Know About the End of DACA?
- American Federation of Teachers and others, Educational Rights of Immigrant Children Now that DACA is Rescinded
- Education Counsel, Memo: Undocumented Students' Rights of Equal Access to K12 Schools
- The Journal of College Admission Winter 2010 Edition, Special Issue dedicated to undocumented students
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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