Each year, several thousand undocumented students graduate from high school, many of whom have lived in the United States since childhood. Advising undocumented students can be difficult in uncertain times. This page provides resources and guidance for professionals.
On June 15, 2012, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the creation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which granted temporary permission to stay to certain undocumented youth who came to the United State as children. However, on September 5, 2017, the Trump Administration announced that it would end the DACA program. NACAC opposed the decision to rescind DACA, and encouraged members of Congress continue to attempt to negotiate a solution for these students and individuals.
Several lawsuits have been filed in relation to the announced rescission of the DACA program, which were combined in to one case. In June 2020, the Supreme Court ruled that the Trump Administration did not follow the proper procedures for ending the program; it did not rule on the lawfulness of ending the program. Consequently, DACA recipients no longer faced the prospect of deportation.
DACA Program Restored
In December 2020, a federal judge issued an order fully restoring the DACA program to the days prior to the Trump administration’s effort to end it in September 2017. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has reinstated the program accordingly.
NACAC encourages you to speak with an immigration attorney or a Board of Immigration Appeals–accredited representative if you are working with a student or group of students who may be undocumented and concerned about their future.
Citizens and Immigration Services' Press Release: Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals: Response to January 2018 Preliminary InjunctionFor additional information, visit:
- Department of Homeland Security, consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. (This page contains information that is no longer current but can be used for reference purposes.)
- National Immigration Law Center, Education Information
- Protect Dreamers Higher Education Coalition, fact sheet on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients.
- Immigrant Legal Resource Center, DACA Resource Center
- American Federation of Teachers and others, Educational Rights of Immigrant Children Now that DACA is Rescinded
- Education Counsel, Memo: Undocumented Students' Rights of Equal Access to K12 Schools
- The Journal of College Admission Winter 2010 Edition, Special Issue dedicated to undocumented students
- Informed Immigrant, A Guide for Educators: Supporting Undocumented Students and Their Families
- Presidents' Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration, Higher Ed Immigration Policy Guide
- Aspire Higher: An Undocumented Student Guide to College in Michigan
- College Visions: Advising Undocumented Students in Rhode Island for College Access
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ED's Resource Guide: Supporting Undocumented Youth
This guide from the U.S. Department of Education provides information on DACA eligibility, state college admission and tuition policies, private scholarships, education records, and more for schools, counselors, educators, and others.Read More
IACAC's College Advising Guide- Undocumented Students
This web-based resource is designed to provide assistance to high school counselors and other individuals who work with undocumented students around college admission.Visit the Site
Top 10 Ways to Support Undocumented Students by E4FC
This pdf provides a quick list of tips for educators and school administrators who work closely with and are interested in better supporting undocumented students.Download the pdf
Federal Student Aid's Q&A: Advising Undocumented Students
This resource provides information on the financial aid process for undocumented students.Download the pdf