Together We Rise - Undocumented Immigrants & Allies KC Spotlight

Amy Molina, NASPA IV-W Undocumented Immigrants & Allies Knowledge Community Representative

November 30, 2017

“I don’t know what I am going to do”
“I worry that I will go home and not find my parents at home”
“What if ICE comes to campus?”
“What if DACA is rescinded?”
“I get told to go back to where you came from, I am expected to return to a country that is foreign to me. I am 20 and I was brought to the states when I was 2.”
“Will I have to go back to my home country?”
“How will I make a living if they take away DACA?”
“I can’t receive financial aid; how will I pay for college?”
“How do I plan for my future?”

I can easily fill up five pages with a list of phrases and comments of fear and uncertainty that I have heard from my students. All of these phrases come from comments that undocumented students have made because they are triggered by the current immigration policies. I work with many students that are undocumented themselves, documented students who have undocumented parents, siblings, and extended family members who also may face immigration related legal challenges. The feelings of uncertainty grew stronger after Donald Trump was elected as President. His campaign was filled with anti-immigrant rhetoric and after he was elected he sent mixed messages regarding the future of DACA.

The weeks and months following last November’s presidential election also left faculty and staff members at colleges and universities in a funk as many of us worked to hide the fact that we also are unsure of what the future holds and what can be done. Many of us worked triumphantly to find answers, provide support, and to share resources. Then, in September it happened. President Trump announced he would be rescinding DACA. Many of our students rely on the DACA program to work, pursue an education, secure a driver’s license, and to also protect them from deportation. 

This decision caused a great deal of unrest for many people, yet the community did not stop working to support our community of undocumented folks. As a result of the decision, we saw many universities and colleges come together in solidarity and issues public statements showing their support of DACA and undocumented students. Many institutions have created Undocumented Student Resource Centers, Support Programs, and hired staff directly responsible for supporting undocumented students. Others have worked to provide in-state tuition, institutional aid, and specialized scholarships, provided legal services and counseling, and ensured that they have culturally competent mental health service providers. I encourage you to research what your institution is doing and work to see how you ensure undocumented students are being supported on your campus. I also urge you to see what efforts are being done at the local and state level, and lobby your elected officials.

Educators for Fair Consideration have put together a publication which highlights the top 10 ways to support undocumented students. Included is the link to the document:

Region IV West Undocumented Immigrants and Allies Knowledge Community Representative
Amy Molina
University of Colorado Boulder
[email protected]

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