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 opposes the decision to rescind DACA, and encourages 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 face the prospect of deportation. However, the Administration may take additional steps to end the program and the DACA program faces other legal challenges. Its future remains in question.
DHS continues to process renewal applications for individuals who have previously received protection under DACA. The Administration has said that it will reject all new applications while it conducts a review of the program. Given the uncertainty created by these various legal threats to DACA, many immigration lawyers are encouraging DACA recipients to apply for renewal as soon as possible. Read more about important considerations that should be made prior to applying for renewal here, and learn more about how to renew here.
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 (This page contains information that is no longer current but can be used for reference purposes.)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
Expand / Collapse All
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