Supporting Undocumented YouthIllinois Migrant Council workshop June 11, 2013Ireri Unzueta CarrascoImmigrant Youth Justice League
Who are undocumented youth?Young people who reside in the US with out authorizationfrom the government, and who either came into the countrywithout inspection or through inspection but have lost theirlegal status.
Who is affected by immigration policies?Pretty mucheveryone, fromstudents to parents,to friends to lovedones, to educators,etc
What are some of thechallenges you haveencountered working withundocumented youth/families?ChallengesThe challenges can vary by state and bypeople’s individual situations, and manyare caused or complicated by people’simmigration status.
What are some of the solutions you have come up with to addressthese issues?
• Access to post secondary studies• Access to work• Creating environments that are friendly toundocumented youth and their families.
Illinois Dream FundScholarship awards will be paid directlyto the school and not the student.2 year institutions: Tuition up to $2,000.4 year institutions: Tuition up to $6,000(toward first Bachelors degree).To be eligible to apply for the Illinois Dream Fund Scholarship, anUndocumented student must meet the following criteria:• High school or college minimum GPA of 2.5 (on a 4 point scale);• Have resided with his or her parent(s) or guardian(s) while attendinghigh school in Illinois;• Have graduated from a high school or received the equivalent of ahigh school diploma (GED) in Illinois; after attending an Illinois highschool for at least three years.
Illinois Dream Act• Creates a private scholarship fund for certain undocumented studentswho reside and attend school in IL.• Requires professional development activities for high school counselorsto include information on undocumented students’ opportunities inpostsecondary education.• Makes the State’s 529 college savings and prepaid tuition programsavailable to Illinoisans with Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers.• Creates the Illinois Dream Fund Commission• raise contributions for the Illinois DREAM Fund• establish a not-for-profit entity to administer the Fund• publicize the availability of scholarships from the DREAM Fund,• select recipients.• research issues pertaining to access and success of children ofimmigrants in higher education.• develop and run training programs for high school counselors andadmissions and financial aid staff.
Financial aid from colleges and universitiesHave the students talk to College Admissions askingspecifically about support for undocumented youth.Though public institutions can be cheaper, private institutionscan have more freedom with their money (though they mightcharge undocumented students as international students).www.dreamersunidos.comCollege specific guideMore resources are in your hand out.
Private scholarships• Find them online• Find them through asking othereducators/students• Advocate for undocumented youth tohave access for scholarships notfunded by the government• Create your own
Other ways to finance education• Fundraise!• Online donations• In person donations• Bake sales!• Etc• Get a loan (with a residentco signer with good credit.However this can mean highinterests rates and debt)
Access to work: Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
• Work permit is valid for 2 years• It is renewable as long as funding is there• People with DACA do not have lawful status but they are lawfully here for 2years• People should be able to get driver’s licenses and social security numbers• Still no access to health care• If people have left the country and come back after 2007, but it is consideredbrief and innocent, they can still get DACA.• Once DACA approved, if people need to leave the country they have to ask forparole and file a form, plus pay the fee ($360).Important things to note
Visit the USCIS website’s FAQ on Deferred Action for Childhood arrivals.Have students visit theNIJC website so they cansee if they need to speakto a lawyerdreamerjustice.orgIf the application is denied people will not be places in removal proceedingsunless fraud was committed or there is a threat to national security
There is a $465 fee which includes biometric service cost
If the young person is not eligible for a workpermit,• Some programs provide stipends that undocumented studentsqualify for, such as After School Matters.• Help the student get an ITIN, they can use that to pay taxes(which is important to be able to apply for citizenship somedayafter we win more rights for immigrant communities)• Help students create theirown jobs- translation andinterpretation, helpingpeople learnenglish/spanish/etc,tutoring, baby sitting, etc.Help them use their talents!
Creating a welcoming environment for undocumented/mixed status familiesWhat are some things you have comeup with in your own experiences?
Creating a welcoming environment for undocumented/mixed status families• Have and undocumented student liaisonas part of the staff.• Have a training with all staff and give outa certificate that says they are allies toundocumented people• Partner with organizations to haveresources for the youth/familiesSome more ideas…You cant not tell who is undocumented, so make sure to makeresources available, visible and accessible.
• Have visuals, like posters, buttons,stickers,etc that have positive messagesabout immigrants, particularlyundocumented immigrants in your workspace• Have videos/music that is undocumented
• Connect them to other undocumentedyouth, and places to find stories liketheir own.Good places to find stories byundocumented people:www.undocuhealth.orgwww.iyjl.orghttp://undocumenting.com/www.dreamersadrift.com