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 provides resources and guidance for professionals.
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.
Since the termination announcement, Members of Congress are attempting to negotiate a solution for these students.
In January 2018, Judge William Alsup of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California ordered a halt to the federal government’s termination of the DACA program. Specifically, Alsup ordered the government to temporarily reinstate the DACA program and to announce a process by which DACA recipients can apply to renew their DACA status. DHS subsequently announced that it would resume processing renewal applications while litigation is ongoing. In February 2018, Judge Nicholas Garaufis of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York issued a similar injunction, determining that the Trump Administration did not offer legally adequate reasoning for ending the program. The court orders do not require the government to accept first-time applications for DACA, but do enable current recipients to apply to renew their status. The Trump Administration has filed an appeal of the California Court’s decision; the United States Supreme Court is expected to announce in February 2018 if they will hear the appeal.
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.
For additional information, visit:
- Citizens and Immigration Services' Press Release: Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals: Response to January 2018 Preliminary Injunction
- 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.)
- 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.
- 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