Supporting Undocumented Students in High School and College
December 8, 2016
In the wake of the presidential election, we have experienced a noticeable increase in the number of inquiries from both our K-12 and higher education clients concerning the unique and complex issues facing undocumented youth and their families. School personnel have a long history of helping students and families navigate complex issues as trusted advisors and advocates. We stand with you as partners in this effort. The following resources may be helpful:
- On October 20, 2015, the U.S. Department of Education issued a 63-page Resource Guide: Supporting Undocumented Youth. Recognizing that undocumented youth and young adults are among the most vulnerable groups served in the U.S. school system, the Guide provides a comprehensive summary of the current state of the law along with practical tips and resources for school personnel. Additionally, Dear Colleague Letters on the topic are addressed to both K-12 Superintendents and College and University Presidents.
- The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website contains a wealth of information on DACA Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. The DACA process was created by the Department of Homeland Security effective August 15, 2012, to offer respite from deportation for undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children. The DACA Toolkit, in particular, provides in depth information concerning applications for DACA grants, renewal of DACA requests, and suggestions for avoiding immigration scams. While actions by the next administration may impact the continuing validity of this information, we encourage you to review the Department of Homeland Security’s website for updates.
- The Immigrant Legal Resource Center recently issued two useful documents: Post-Election Talking Points and Resources and Help for Immigrant Families Post-Election. Clients have found these resources useful in the aftermath of the presidential election.
- Many colleges and universities have been considering requests to declare themselves “sanctuaries” for undocumented youth. The American Council on Education recently released a Q&A explaining the issue and immigration issues for colleges and universities more generally.
While the new administration’s policies impacting undocumented youth remain uncertain, we will provide you updated information and analysis to help you sift through fact and fiction and take action to support your communities.