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DREAMers Resources

Guide for Undocumented / AB-540 / DACA Students

Educators for Fair Consideration


Description: This resource is meant to be used by educators, school administrators and allies who work closely with and are interested in better supporting undocumented students. Whether you're a long-time champion of undocumented students or a new educator just learning how best to support this population, there will be something useful in this resource for you.

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.

2. 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 “legal 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 or seek out training online at Immigrants Rising Educator Training Resources
3. 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)
• Understand Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), DACA+ and DAPA eligibility requirements and application procedures: Immigrant Legal Resource Center Information on DACA
• Research local and statewide immigration-related policies that affect your students and their families
• Keep informed about proposed legislation related to immigration policies
4. Find & Advocate for Scholarships and Financial Support
• Keep track of scholarships that don’t require citizenship or residency. Help students apply to as many available scholarships as possible.
• Advocate for scholarship providers to consider and support undocumented students
• Share E4FC’s “List of Scholarships that Don’t Require Social Security Numbers”:
5. 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
6. Connect Students to Undocumented Community Leaders and Role Models
• Find and connect students to local, state or national undocumented youth advocacy organizations
• Identify older undocumented students who can serve as role models
7. 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):
8. Access Reputable Legal Information & Assistance
• Identify reputable, affordable legal service providers in your area. Check out Getting Legal Help.
• 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
• Refer students to E4FC’s “Beyond Deferred Action: Long-Term Immigration Remedies DREAMers Should Know About” guide:
• Encourage students to pursue potential immigration remedies (if available to them)
9. Build Agency and Power
• Help students start a group/club to raise awareness about immigration issues
• Inform students about their rights: Print Red Cards for Immigrants
• 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
10. Create Spaces for Storytelling and Creative Expression
• Encourage students to share their stories (when safe)
• Share E4FC’s creative work website:
• Support undocumented artists by sharing scholarship information:
• 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 pursue their dreams of college, career, and citizenship in the United States. We address the holistic needs of undocumented young people through direct support, leadership and career development, community outreach and education, creative expression, and advocacy. Our programming is designed by and for undocumented young people with support from committed allies.

Author: Jose Arreola, E4FC Training & Community Relations Manager
Publish Date: September 2015
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