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Undocumented Students: An Overview of Policies, Myths & Best Practices Paz Maya Olivérez , Ph.D. Executive Director Futuros Educational Services Innovative Educators Webinar. Promoting College Access for Low Income and Immigrant Communities. Presenter Background.

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Undocumented Students:An Overview of Policies, Myths & Best PracticesPaz Maya Olivérez, Ph.D.Executive DirectorFuturos Educational ServicesInnovative Educators Webinar

Promoting College Access for Low Income and Immigrant Communities

presenter background
Presenter Background

Dissertation research took place during the 2004-2005 school year

Bi-weekly interviews for 12 months

10 undocumented high school seniors

Latino – Mexican, Guatemalan, Salvadoran, Peruvian, Colombian

College aspirations/ Enrolled in honors/A.P. courses/ Meet eligibility requirements for CA’s 4-year public universities

Later helped to develop resource guide for CA undocumented students

Continued to deliver workshops for various audiences throughout Los Angeles, California, and the U.S.

Promoting College Access for Low Income and Immigrant Communities

futuros educational services
Futuros Educational Services

Futuros was started in 2008 to:

Provide one-on-one college advising, college and scholarship application assistance, fundraising support, and informational workshops for students and parents.

Provide professional development workshops for school-, college-, and community-based practitioners to offer up-to-date information and best practices for addressing the needs of undocumented students.

Promoting College Access for Low Income and Immigrant Communities

your questions
Your Questions….

What questions do you have coming into the workshop?

What information do you hope to walk away with from the workshop?

Promoting College Access for Low Income and Immigrant Communities

undocumented students who are they
Undocumented Students:Who are they?
  • The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that in the year 2000, approximately 2.5 million undocumented youth under age 18 were living in the U.S.
  • Each year, an estimated 65,000 undocumented students graduate from U.S. high schools
  • 25% of all undocumented immigrants live in California
    • An estimated 22,000 graduate from high school each year

Sources: U.S. Census Bureau, Pew Hispanic Center, National Immigration Law Center

Promoting College Access for Low Income and Immigrant Communities

undocumented students who are they1
Undocumented Students:Who are they?

Similar to peers:

Low-income

Poor academic preparation

First-generation college-goers

Limited access to college information & support

Different from peers:

Not eligible for government-sponsored financial aid

Cannot gain legal employment

Cannot acquire a driver’s license

Live in fear of discovery/deportation

Promoting College Access for Low Income and Immigrant Communities

undocumented students challenges to legalization
Undocumented Students:Challenges to Legalization

People often ask why undocumented students do not apply for a “green card” to legalize their status. The answer is that most of them would love to apply but that in the overwhelming majority of cases they cannot. The legal grounds for such petitions have narrowed to the point where it is almost impossible. The most likely outcome for a student who tries to apply is deportation of his entire family — sometimes to a “home” nation the student cannot remember.

Source: National Immigration Law Center. (2009). “Basic Facts about In-State Tuition for Undocumented Immigrant Students.”

Promoting College Access for Low Income and Immigrant Communities

undocumented students in state tuition
Undocumented Students:In-State Tuition

Currently, there are 10 states in the U.S. with policies that allow eligible undocumented students to pay in-state tuition.

  • Texas, California, Utah, Illinois, Washington, New York, Kansas, New Mexico, Nebraska, Oklahoma

Source: National Immigration Law Center. (2009). “Basic Facts about In-State Tuition for Undocumented Immigrant Students.”

Promoting College Access for Low Income and Immigrant Communities

undocumented students federal policy
Undocumented Students:Federal Policy

1982: Plyler vs. DoeU.S. Supreme Court decision that granted undocumented students the right to a public school education from K-12 grade in the U.S.

1996: “Illegal” Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA),Section 505: Law limiting eligibility for preferential treatment of undocumented immigrants on basis of residence for higher education benefits.

Promoting College Access for Low Income and Immigrant Communities

undocumented students dream act
Undocumented Students:DREAM Act
  • Broadly supported legislation known as the DREAM Act (S. 2075, H.R. 5131) was introduced in March 2009 is currently pending in the U.S. Congress.
  • Proponents hope that it will be included in Obama’s Immigration Reform bill.
    • The DREAM Act would provide a path to legal status for individuals who are undocumented, even though they were brought to the U.S. years ago as children and have lived most of their lives here. It would also repeal the provision of law that penalizes states that provide in-state tuition to undocumented immigrant residents by requiring them to provide the same benefits to students who do not reside in the state.

Source: National Immigration Law Center. (2009). “Basic Facts about In-State Tuition for Undocumented Immigrant Students.”

Promoting College Access for Low Income and Immigrant Communities

financial aid for immigrant students
Financial Aid for Immigrant Students

If a student filed an application with USCIS, the student may already be eligible for resident fee status and also to receive state financial aid. Have them speak to their attorney.

If the student has a “green card” or social security number, they are eligible to complete the FAFSA.

Undocumented students should not complete the online FAFSA application.

Undocumented students should contact someone at the college they plan to attend to ask about completing a paper FAFSA for institutional aid.

Some students/families may be eligible for loans from some banks/loan agencies/private lenders if they have a co-signer who is a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident.

Promoting College Access for Low Income and Immigrant Communities

college access challenge 1
College Access Challenge #1

Students are uninformed & misinformed

Include undocumented student information in all college/financial aid materials

Have a 1-page fact sheet for undocumented students/parents

Incorporate as part of individualized advising

Include expert presenters in all college-related events

Professional development for college access professionals

Promoting College Access for Low Income and Immigrant Communities

college access challenge 2
College Access Challenge #2

Students lack mentors & encouragement

Student support groups

High school clubs (i.e., develop & advise)

Undocumented student alumni

Undocumented college student groups

Individualized counseling and guidance

Promoting College Access for Low Income and Immigrant Communities

college access challenge 3
College Access Challenge #3

Parents lack of college knowledge

Involve parents in college preparation process

Develop parent support groups

Provide information in parents’ native language

Connect parents to community resources

Promoting College Access for Low Income and Immigrant Communities

college access challenge 4
College Access Challenge #4

Students’ college choices are largely

influenced by finances

Provide information about college costs for all systems of higher education.

Bring in current undocumented college students to share their stories.

Be realistic. Provide information & motivation but be realistic about the challenges.

Promoting College Access for Low Income and Immigrant Communities

college access challenge 5
College Access Challenge #5

Students need assistance when

completing college admissions applications

Help students complete residency questions (develop relationships with college admission representatives)

Attend college/university application workshops annually to stay informed of policy changes

General support for completing applications (if you don’t know the answer, find someone who does)

Promoting College Access for Low Income and Immigrant Communities

college access challenge 6
College Access Challenge #6

Students need assistance with

fundraising for college

SCHOLARSHIPS

Research scholarships without residency requirements

Develop a space for this information in your office

Update scholarship lists regularly

Provide scholarship application assistance

Proofread essays, write letters of recommendation, offer scholarship application workshops

FUNDRAISING PORTFOLIO

Promoting College Access for Low Income and Immigrant Communities

additional fundraising ideas
Additional Fundraising Ideas

BE CREATIVE!

Look to your organization/institution:

Develop an undocumented student scholarship fund

Inquire about the availability of discretionary funds

Look to student/family/community:

House parties, raffles, candy sales, etc.

Look to undocumented College Student Groups:

Scholarship opportunities

Promoting College Access for Low Income and Immigrant Communities

post graduate options
Post-graduate Options

Job opportunities

Graduate school

more steps you can take to help
More steps you can take to help…
  • GET CONNECTED
    • Partner with feeder high school and college-based counselors/advisers
    • Partner with local organizations/ agencies in your community (including immigration attorneys)
  • STAY ACTIVE & INFORMED
    • Advocate for your students (i.e., scholarship providers, policymakers)
    • Stay informed about policies that impact undocumented students

Promoting College Access for Low Income and Immigrant Communities

information resources
Information Resources

For up-to-date information on state/federal legislation:

National Immigration Law Center

www.nilc.org

For research and statistics on undocumented immigrants:

Pew Hispanic Center

www.pewhispanic.org

For immigration information and legal advice for immigrant youth:

Public Counsel

www.publiccounsel.org

remaining questions
Remaining Questions

Promoting College Access for Low Income and Immigrant Communities

please feel free to contact us
Please feel free to contact us:

Paz Maya Olivérez, Ph.D.

Executive Director

Futuros Educational Services

poliverez@futuros-california.org

For more information:

www.futuros-california.org

We can also be found on Facebook.

Promoting College Access for Low Income and Immigrant Communities