(Last updated on November 2016)
If you are an educator or counselor working with undocumented youth, make sure to check out these helpful resources. We are continually expanding this list as more information comes in so be sure to return to this page periodically.
Post-Election: Recommendations for School Administrators, Educators, Counselors, and Undocumented Students by My Undocumented Life blog
At My Undocumented Life blog, we have identified steps that schools and universities can take to support undocumented students in light of the post-election results. Trump has stated that he would heighten immigration enforcement, end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, and increase the number of deportations. Undocumented students and their families all across the country are increasingly becoming anxious and fearful over what the Trump presidency will do in terms of immigration policies and amplifying the anti-immigrant sentiment that Trump’s campaign has fostered. Now, more than ever, undocumented students and their families need support from educators, counselors, and administrators.
This article presents the following three steps that teachers can take to advocate for undocumented students: (1) Knowing the Facts; (2) Understanding the Experience; (3) Continuing to learn, grow, advocate
“Institutional policies and programs with and for undocumented students” by United We Dream
In this toolkit, you will find 29 different steps that your school can take to become more supportive of undocumented students. There is a detailed description of why each step is important, what it entails, and information on schools that have already taken this step. For example, step #22 is about creating access to emergency funds for undocumented students. United We Dream notes that this is important because “Undocumented students don’t have the employment opportunities a U.S. Citizen or permanent resident has, and therefore they experience severe financial struggles. In addition to the extreme financial need, undocumented students are not eligible for federal loans, financial aid or health insurance. Offering emergency funding to undocumented students through grant money or departmental money (for rent payments, food, health, etc.) can make a difference in a student’s college success.”
They also explain what this step would look like: “Emergency funding open to undocumented students should have the following components: 1. Be flexible in what the funding could be used for (i.e. rent, food, health, books, software, shoes, clothing (winter coats/boots), transportation (gas/bus pass) 2. Be realistic in the expected time to repay loans 3. Have the option for different payment plans 4. Have the option to not incur interest until after graduation and/or until they are employed.” And they list Georgetown University as an example of a school that has already taken this step.
“Top 10 Ways To Support Undocumented Students” by Educators For Fair Consideration
This resource is meant to be used by educators, school administrators and allies who work closely with and are interested in better supporting undocumented students. Whether you’re a long-time champion of undocumented students or a new educator just learning how best to support this population, there will be something useful in this resource for you.
If you’re just starting out, it’s most important to engage with an open mind, create a safe space for the students you work with, and learn about the most relevant immigration and education policies directly affecting undocumented students. For those of you who are already working with undocumented students, consider taking your allyship to the next level by connecting your students with community leaders and role models, helping students access scholarships for college, and educating yourself about reputable sources of legal assistance to refer your students to.
Katharine is the co-founder and executive director of Educators For Fair Consideration, an organization that works to empower undocumented young people to achieve their academic and career goals and actively contribute to society. For more than 20 years, Katharine has worked to enhance arts and education opportunities for low-income and minority youth. Katharine’s advice is featured on the Journal of College Admissions.
William Perez’ research shows that college-eligible undocumented students exhibit high levels of academic achievement, civic engagement and resilience. Many overcome academic and socioemotional barriers through social and moral support from family, peers, school agents and academic programs. As a result of the state residency tuition eligibility across the 10 states where most undocumented students reside, more than ever, community colleges and public universities are serving an important role in educating low-income, undocumented students. This article provides several research-informed suggestions for counseling professionals on how to best support higher education access for undocumented students.
“Guide for Teachers Helping DREAMers” by United We Dream
This guide was created for teachers and service providers in mind who teach, mentor and help undocumented youth (also commonly known as DREAMers). Many times you, the teacher, are the first individual a DREAMer comes out to as undocumented immigrant. This scenario is likely to continue happening as there has been a government directive called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, a directive that will continue to change the lives of DREAMers. It is likely that you might not have the tools or knowledge about the issue and/or resources available for these youth. Therefore, United We Dream hopes that this document gives you a brief, easy-to-read guide on how to help DREAMers and where they can get support. The content in this guide was compiled by United We Dream from the work created by Educators for Fair Consideration (E4FC), National Immigration Law Center (NILC), PEW Research Center, & USCIS.
“Supporting Undocumented Youth“ by the U.S. Department of Education
The U.S. Department of Education (Department) has compiled this Resource Guide to assist and enhance State and local efforts to support undocumented youth at the secondary and postsecondary school levels. The Department hopes that educators, schools, and campuses will, as they see fit, draw upon the tips and examples in this Guide to better support undocumented youth and, ultimately, move us closer to the promise of college and career readiness for all.
Educators for Fair Consideration (E4FC) offers an array of programs and services to address the needs of undocumented young people. An up-to-date scholarship database is maintained for both undergraduate and graduate undocumented students. Explore a list of key resources that E4FC has put together to help undocumented students across the United States to apply to scholarships. (See quick summaries for undergraduates and graduate students).
“Advising Undocumented Students” by College Week
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