1. Provide hope & encouragement. Reassure undocumented students that college is possible, despite the obstacles.
2. Drop the “I” word. Instead of the word “illegal,” use the words “undocumented” and “dreamers.” Help change the immigration discourse.
3. Make information and resources available for ALL students. Don’t require students to self-identify in order to access information. Many students will be scared to reveal their immigration status or they may not know their status.
4. Be open-minded. Don’t make assumptions about who may or may not be undocumented. Undocumented youths aren’t all Latino, Spanish-speaking, or enrolled in ENL classes.
5. Be knowledgeable about specific government and college admission policies that affect undocumented students:
- Department of Education Resources Guide
- Resources page from Illinois Association for College Admission Counseling
- Educators for Fair Consideration
6. Support pro-immigrant federal, state and city legislation such as the federal DREAM Act, the IL Dream Act, in-state tuition IL Public Act 93-007.
8. Advocate for scholarships and private colleges to allow undocumented students to apply and enroll.
9. Involve parents. Educate the parents of undocumented students as to the benefits of a college education.
10. Help create lasting support networks that can offer ongoing mentoring and advice for undocumented youth.
11. Refer students to qualified legal counsel to inquire on possible immigration remedies. i.e. BIA Accredited Agencies
12. Identify role models: undocumented youth and/or college graduates from the community to give a presentation to inform, empower and share resources.
13. Reach out to organizations, community groups that can support undocumented and immigrant youth, or create a club that supports undocumented students.
14. Make your school/ classroom a safe haven for undocumented youth. Post a sign in your classroom that states that you support undocumented students and their dreams!
15. Stay informed and updated on immigration or education legislation changes that will affect youth, their families and communities. www.whitehouse.gov/issues/immigration
RESOURCES FOR UNDOCUMENTED STUDENTS
List compiled by Dr. Aliza Gilbert
- DREAMer’s RoadMap: Helping undocumented students find scholarship opportunities through a mobile app
- DACA Scholars: Same
- College Advising Guide for Undocumented Students (college information and resources)
- Educators for Fair Consideration (includes a good scholarship database)
- Golden Door Scholars
- THE DREAM.US Scholarship
- Pre-Health Dreamers
- United We Dream
- My (Un)Documented Life
- NACAC Legislative Action Center
- National Immigration Law Center
REPORTS AND GENERAL INFORMATION
- 6 cosas estudiantes indocumentados necesitan saber acerca de la universidad (Translation: Six Things Undocumented Students Need to Know About College -- CollegeBoard article)
- In the Shadows of the Ivory Tower
- Department of Education
- College Board – Young Lives on Hold: The College Dreams of Undocumented Students