Top 10 Ways to Support Undocumented Students

TOP 10 WAYS TO SUPPORT UNDOCUMENTED STUDENTS

  1. Engage with an Open Mind
  • When supporting undocumented students, it’s important to know that there won’t be a single answer or path for all students. Support requires ongoing investigation and collaboration with other service providers and community leaders. When you don’t know something, work WITH students to find out answers so that you can share them with other students and colleagues.
  1. Create a Safe Space
  • Don’t ask undocumented students to self-identify
  • Make resources easily available for all students
  • Understand that trust takes time
  • Be mindful of your language; say “undocumented” rather than “illegal” and avoid terms like “alien” or “illegal immigration”
  • Do all you can to identify YOURSELF as an ally/supporter; use posters, bookmarks, and stickers to make your support visible
  • Get trained by a trusted community organization. In Northern California, you can request an outreach presentation from E4FC: http://e4fc.org/ communityeducation/requestapresentation.html
  1. Learn about Relevant Institutional Policies & Legislation
  • Understand admissions and enrollment policies for undocumented students
  • Understand in-state tuition and state-based aid requirements for undocumented students (if applicable) uleadnet.org
  • Understand Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), eligibility requirements and application procedures and encourage eligible youth to contact a legal service provider prior to applying http://e4fc.org/ html
  • Research local and statewide immigration-related policies that affect your students and their families
  • Keep informed about proposed legislation related to immigration policies
  1. Find & Advocate for Scholarships and Financial Support
  1. Build Your Own Educator Network
  • Build relationships and collaborate with other educators at your school or district
  • Reach out to educators at local colleges who are supportive of undocumented students
  • Add your name to E4FC’s mailing list to learn about new resources, webinars and educator gatherings: http://e4fc.org/ html
  • Connect to DEEP’s National Educator Network and Campaigns: unitedwedream.org/about/projects/education-deep/
  1. Connect Students to Undocumented Community Leaders and Role Models 
  1. Involve Parents
  • Educate parents about why undocumented students should pursue college
  • Encourage and support good communication between students and parents Invite parents into the college application and enrollment process
  • Share E4FC’s Guide for Parents of Undocumented Students (in English and Spanish): e4fc.org/resources/parentguides.html
  1. Access Reputable Legal Information & Assistance
  • Identify reputable, affordable legal service providers in your area. Visit https://www.immigrationlawhelp.org/
  • Encourage students to use E4FC’s free, anonymous, and online DREAMer Intake Service to get information about their eligibility for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and other long-term immigration remedies. Visit e4fc.org
  • Refer students to E4FC’s “Beyond Deferred Action: Long-Term Immigration Remedies DREAMers Should Know About” guide: http://e4fc.org/beyonddeferredaction.html
  • Encourage students to pursue potential immigration remedies (if available to them)
  1. Build Agency and Power
  • Help students start a group/club to raise awareness about immigration issues
  • Inform students about their rights: ilrc and www.nilc.org
  • Connect students to culturally competent and responsive mental/ emotional health services
  • Educate students about how other marginalized groups have organized against their marginalization
  • Build faith — a sense of agency and a belief that things will change for the better
  1. Create Spaces for Storytelling and Creative Expression
  • Encourage students to share their stories (when safe) 
  • Share E4FC’s creative work website: www.thingsillneversay.org
  • Support undocumented artists: www.tiny.cc/buzzfeedundocuart
  • Encourage students to build their own meaning and identity that is different from the negative stigma and stereotypes about undocumented immigrants

About Educators for Fair Consideration (E4FC)

Founded in 2006, Educators for Fair Consideration (E4FC) empowers undocumented young people to achieve educational and career goals through personal, institutional and policy transformation. We envision an America where all young people can pursue and complete an education with confidence and without constraint. Our programming is designed by and for undocumented young people with support from committed allies.

For more information, visit www.e4fc.org