Effectively Supporting Undocumented Students and Families in the College Counseling Process


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Presented at the 2013 NPEA conference by: KIPP Austin


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  • Immigrant: someone allowed to live permanently in the US (permanent residents & naturalized citizens)Non-Immigrant: People with visas in US temporarily (tourists, students), or people with Temporary Protected StatusTPS: The US may designate a foreign country for TPS if conditions in the country prevent a person from returning safely. The US may grant TPS to eligible nationals of these country who are already in the US.(Civil Wars, environmental disasters)Countries with TPS: El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Somalia, Sudan, South SudanRefugees/Asylees: The US provides refuge to persons who have been persecuted or have a well-founded fear of persecution through 2 programs: refugees & asylees.Persecution based on: race, religion, nationality, membership in a social group, or political opinion.Most refugees come from: Iraq, Burma, Bhutan, Somalia, Cuba, Iran, respectivelyUndocumented Immigrant: entered US without authorization or entered with authorization but overstayed a visa
  • Becoming a Legal Permanent ResidentFamilyUSC – spouses, children, parents, and siblingsImmediate Relatives (spouse, unmarried children under 21, parents)Family 1(unmarried child 21 or older)Family 3 (married child of any age)Family 4 (siblings)LPR – spouses and unmarried childrenFamily 2 (spouses & unmarried children)JobRefugee or Asylee StatusCan apply for LPR after one year in US.Diversity Visa ProgramBecoming a Naturalized Citizen:LPRs are eligible to apply for US citizenship after residing in US for 5 years (3 if married to USC)Requirements are no criminal record, “good moral character”, paid taxes, knowledge of US history and government, ability to speak, read and write English
  • In Texas: a little more than 1.5 million
  • In 2001, Texas became the first state to offer in-state tuition to undocumented students through H.B. 1403. H.B. 1403 allowed undocumented students to attend college paying in-state tuition if they met certain requirements. In 2005, this bill was revised to include a wide range of students, including citizens, legal residents, and people with certain visas. Currently, 13 other states have a similar law. (CA, NY, UT, WA, OK, IL, KA, NM, NE, MD, CT)
  • 1 year Non-immigrantsH1-B visaH-4 visa (dependents of H1-B visa only)TPS/VAWA (spouses and children with approved petitions under the Violence Against Women ActNACAEA/HRIFA/Cuban Act BenificiariesRefugee/AsyleeOut-of-State students3 yearsUndocumented StudentsStudents in immigration process (have received a notice of action)Any non-immigrant, regardless of visa typeStudents whose parents moved from TX (if student stayed)
  • Resident
  • In 6 months, based on 36 months + 1 year of TX residency prior to enrollment.
  • Since 2001, 22,697 students who benefited from the law have attended Texas colleges and universitiesNo data on how many have graduatedIn Fall of 2009, 12,138 students were enrolled in Texas public colleges & universities and received in-state tuition – represents about 1% of all Texas college studentsNo data on number attending private colleges & universities, or going out-of-state$33.6 million awarded in state and institutional financial aid between Fall 2004 and Summer 2008Increased state revenue by $3,265,000/year from 2008-2010 (LBB, 2005)In 2006, 0.36% of all students attending public colleges and universities were undocumentedIn 2009, the number grew to 1%
  • First-generation high school and college studentsLack of appropriate career/higher ed. guidance and support in schools Low level of parental educationscholarships (require SSN)Must apply as international studentsNot eligible for federal financial aidGov’t grants, work-studyNeed co-signer for loansLess opportunities than other studentsTeacher Certification, Nurse Registration, Study AbroadCannot utilize degree in USAll of these reasons often discourage undocumented students from going to college.
  • Effectively Supporting Undocumented Students and Families in the College Counseling Process

    1. 1. Laura Chrisco, KIPP Austin Public SchoolsNPEA National ConferenceApril 12, 2013
    2. 2. 1. Articulate the federal policies and decisionsthat relate to undocumented students2. Articulate their state‟s in-state tuition policyfor undocumented students3. Utilize correct terminology in advisingundocumented youth or family members4. Gain strategies to engage parents andstudents in the college process5. Develop collaboration techniques to utilizein their region
    3. 3.  Alex, Regent‟s High School http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FreHufmTVt4
    4. 4. Immigration Basics
    5. 5.  Immigrant allowed to live permanently in US Naturalized Citizen LPRs who apply for citizenship Non-immigrant visas or temporary protected status Refugee/Asylee persecution or fear or persecutionUndocumented Immigrant entered US withoutauthorization or overstayed visaSource: Justice for ImmigrantsIllegalsIllegalalien
    6. 6.  Becoming a Legal Permanent Resident Family Job Refugee or Asylee Status Diversity Visa Program If undocumented in the US: Marrying a USC or LPR may help a person fixtheir immigration status if they lawfully enteredthe US. If a person unlawfully entered US, it is muchmore difficult to fix status. Barred from US for 10 years
    7. 7.  Money:◦Legal fees◦Visa/documentation fees: $500-1200 Information Time
    8. 8. Category Worldwide Mexico China & India PhilippinesF1Spouses & Unmarried children ofUSCSeptember 2004 April 1993 September 2004 March 1997F2A Spouses & children of LPR March 2009 February 2009 March 2009 March 2009F2B 21+ Unmarried children of LPR August 2003 November 1992 August 2003 August 2001F3 Married children of USC October 2001 December 1992 October 2001 July 1992F4 Siblings of USC July 2000 May 1996 July 2000 September 1988Source: U.S. Department of State Visa Bulletin,December 2011
    9. 9. Source: Pew Hispanic Center, 201111.2 million undocumented immigrants3.7% of nation‟s population5.2% of labor force
    10. 10. Source: Pew Hispanic Center, 201123%14%6%6%5%4%3%2%36%11.2 Million EstimatedUndocumented ImmigrantsCaliforniaTexasFloridaNew YorkIllinoisNew JerseyArizonaNorth CarolinaOtherTexas
    11. 11. • Plyler vs. Doe• Illegal Immigration Reform andImmigrant Responsibility Act of 1996• Dream Act• In-state tuition policies• Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
    12. 12.  Plyler vs. Doe: Mandatory provision of K-12 Education◦ All children, regardless of immigration status, areguaranteed access to K-12 public educationLegal Barriers Illegal Immigration Reform and ImmigrantResponsibility Act of 1996◦ Unauthorized immigrants who are in the U.S. for 180days are banned from re-entry for 10 years
    13. 13.  Creates a path to citizenship forundocumented youth Defeated several times, most recently in 2011 Serves as inspiration for state legislationregarding undocumented youth A symbol of hope: DREAMERSRequirements: Must have entered the United States before the age of 16 (i.e. 15 andyounger) Must have been present in the United States for at least five (5)consecutive years prior to enactment of the bill Must have graduated from a United States high school, or have obtaineda GED, or have been accepted into an institution of higher education (i.e.college/university) Must be between the ages of 12 and 35 at the time of application Must have good moral character
    14. 14. (Image courtesy of Zaina Natour)
    15. 15.  Passed in 2001 (H.B. 1403) S.B. 1528 allows students to pay in-statetuition and receive state financial aid at Texaspublic universities & colleges if they meetcertain requirements (regardless ofcitizenship).(Senate Bill 1528)
    16. 16. Path 1: USC, PR, UI, NI Graduate from highschool/receive a GED inTX Reside in TX for at least 3consecutive years beforegraduation Reside in TX for at least 1year leading up to collegeenrollment Sign a notarized affidavitof intent◦ (undocumented immigrantsand non-immigrantsregardless of visa type)Path 2: Non-Immigrants(eligiblevisa), TPS/VAWA, NACARA/HRIFA/CubanAct, Refugee/Asylee Graduate from highschool/receive a GED inTX Reside in TX for at least 1year leading up to collegeenrollment Sign a notarized affidavitof intent◦ (undocumentedimmigrants and non-immigrants regardlessof visa type)
    17. 17. Scenario1. In TX 36 mo. + 1 yr?2. HS grad or GED?3. Affidavit completed?Monica’s parents brought her toTexas when she was 12, and shehas lived here ever since. She doesnot have papers, and is considered“undocumented.” She graduatedfrom high school 4 years ago, andshe has decided to enroll in acommunity college. Is she aresident or a nonresident?17Considerations
    18. 18. Scenario1. In TX 36 mo. + 1 yr?2. HS grad or GED?3. Affidavit completed?Cho came to Texas with a touristvisa when she was 7. When the visaexpired, her family stayed in Texas.She graduated from HS in 2009 andmoved to New Mexico. Shereturned to Texas 6 months ago.When could she be classified as aresident?18Considerations
    19. 19.  Since 2001, over 25,000 have benefitted fromthis law. In Fall of 2009, 12,138 students were enrolled inTexas public colleges & universities and receivedin-state tuition – representing 1% of all TXcollege students $33.6 million awarded in state and institutionalfinancial aid between Fall 2004 and Summer2008 Increased state revenue by $3,265,000/year from2008-2010 (LBB, 2005)Source: Dallas Morning News, 2010Legislative Budget Board, 2005
    20. 20.  Announced by DHS on June 15th, 2012 andsupported by President Obama asprosecutorial discretion Benefits:◦ Remain in the US for period of time determined byDHS (2 years)◦ Work Authorization Number (Social SecurityNumber)◦ Driver‟s License (dependent on State policies)
    21. 21.  Permanent or Temporary residence A path to LPR or Citizenship Lawful status Visa Eligibility for federal loans, grants, federal workstudy Colleges are new to this Scholarships are new to this Students/ families believe they solved legalstatus
    22. 22.  $465 application fee No need to hire lawyer: manyorganizations provide free services:◦ Law School Clinics◦ Catholic Charities◦ Community based organizations◦ Immigrant Advocacy Organizations
    23. 23. Age and Residency Requirements Came to the U.S. before reaching 16th birthday Continuously resided in the U.S. since June15, 2007 and up to present time At least 15 years of age at the time of filing◦ except for individuals in removal proceedings or whosecase was terminated who may file before age 15 Under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012 Entered without inspection before June15, 2012, or lawful immigration status expired asof June 15, 2012 Present in the U.S on June 15, 2012, and at thetime of making request for consideration ofdeferred action with USCIS
    24. 24. Educational Requirement:Excellent Motivation Tactic Currently in high school or college Graduated or obtained certificate ofcompletion from high school Obtained GED certification Graduated from college Currently enrolled in certain job training oreducational programs Honorably discharged veteran of the CoastGuard or Armed Forces of the U.S.
    25. 25. Criminal Disqualifications (1) Felony conviction◦ Defined under federal, not Texas law◦ One felony conviction is a disqualification Misdemeanors◦ Defined by USCIS, not Texas law◦ Offense for which minimum sentence is more than5 days up to one year.
    26. 26. Criminal Disqualifications (2) Significant Misdemeanor◦ Domestic violence; sexual abuse orexploitation; burglary; unlawfulpossession or use of a firearm; drugdistribution or trafficking; or, drivingunder the influence, regardless of lengthof sentence, regardless of sentence◦ Any offense for which applicant actuallyserved 90 days in jail Does not include a suspended sentence
    27. 27. Other Disqualifications National security threat Public safety threat◦ Gang membership
    28. 28. Scenario1. What would you suggest forher to do?28Advice?A student let you know they recentlyreceived their social securitynumber from Deferred Action. Theyfiled the FAFSA and they got anerror message. They are confused.
    29. 29. Focus Group
    30. 30. In September, 2010: Austin College Access Network‟s College Advisingfor Undocumented Students Taskforce (CAUST) conducted a series offocus groups with undocumented students who had enrolled in college.GOAL: to better understand the aspirations of (and challengesfacing) undocumented students who were pursuing highereducation.Participants (17 students)◦ Hispanic, Spanish -home language◦ Attempted to pursue higher education at one time◦ An average of 12.7 years lived in the U.S.◦ Participants received free/reduced lunch in HS; only one reported afamily income of more than $50,000◦ All 17 participants reported that their parents were „involved‟ or„somewhat involved‟ in the educational process◦ The majority of participants are academically proficient – only fourstudents reported taking developmental education classes
    31. 31.  Using the notecards distributed, let‟s hear fromthe students. Please take a moment with your neighbors, readyour question and response and identify thefollowing?◦ How is this student‟s experience distinct from others?Does it call to mind any of your students‟ experiences?◦ What can we do as counselors to counter the fears, andbarriers these students face?◦ Are there any other undertones in these quotes thatstand out to you, and why? We will then share out our thoughts
    32. 32.  “You see your parents working hard, and theydon‟t make enough money to pay bills.Another reason is, that‟s why I‟m here inAmerica. My parents want me to succeed. Iwant to feel like I did something with mylife, and not just do what everyone elsedoes, like work at McDonalds. I want to gointo nursing to help other people and see thatchange happen.” ‐‐ Student at Austin Community College
    33. 33.  “For me I got all of the support, but you haveto do it. They are not with you when you aretaking the exams. But family really helped meget through college in four years. My momand dad barely finished elementary school intheir country, all they could do is pray andsupport and give me love and hope for thebest.” ‐‐ Graduate of UT‐Austin, Lanier HS graduate
    34. 34.  “I‟m in my 2nd year studying nursing. I‟m inthe honors program in the nursing school. Ididn‟t have to apply to get into nursing, sinceI‟m in honors. But if I can‟t maintain above a“C,” I will have to reapply. If it gets too hard, Iwas thinking about being a mechanic. My dadfixes mufflers and radiators, and he gets paidwell. If the Dream Act doesn‟t pass withnursing then I will go to ACC and study tohelp my dad.” ‐‐ Student at UT‐Austin, LASA graduate
    35. 35.  “It was hard explaining to the internationaloffice that, yes, I‟m an international studentbut a Texas resident, but I‟m not supposed topay what international students are paying.My particular counselor wasn‟t wellinformed, and I have to do the same thingever year… regular counselors did not knowhow to advise us. I talked to a counselor; theyalways told me to talk to someone else, andthey were not very knowledgeable.” ‐‐ Student at UT‐Austin
    36. 36. LEGAL No/low opportunity to legalize status Cannot legally work- (DACA is a temporary solve) Cannot get DL/ID Cannot travel outside of USSOCIAL Fear of deportation/police Language barriers Feel like they‟re the only one in this situation Negative stigma for being “illegal”FINANCIAL Limited job opportunities Victims of wage theft High mobility- due to changing wages
    37. 37.  Often, do not believe they have the right to highereducation, true or false based on state policy Often first-generation or low level of parentaleducation Lack of information or guidance in collegeapplication process Low scholarship eligibility (require SSN) Not eligible for federal financial aid Need co-signer for loans with SSN Must apply as international students in some cases Generally, less opportunities than other students
    38. 38.  As school representatives we cannot legallyask a student for their legal status. Students are afraid, reticent to shareinformation. Consistent changes in policies, and processesfor these students Limitations in higher education and fundingopportunities
    39. 39. Within your school/office Educate yourself/staff on policy issues thataffect these students Clearly support policy issues that supportundocumented students◦ Partner with organizations to present on theseissues to your students and families: studentorganizations, immigrant supportorganizations, law schools
    40. 40.  Partner with Law Schools/ Law Firms in your regionto serve as legal resources Create a taskforce with other student-centeredorganizations and/or schools addressing this issue◦ Provide Workshops for Continuing Ed Credit to othercounselors Utilize your local College Access Network Utilize your school/city/NACAC College Fair toeducate your community on this issue. Identify someone within your organization to takethe lead as the Immigration Specialist keeping staffupdated on policy and procedural changes
    41. 41. National and Local ResourcesStudent Advocacy:United We Dream www.unitedwedream.orgNational Immigration Law Center www.nilc.orgJustice for Immigrants www.justiceforimmigrants.orgUniversity Leadership Initiative www.universityleadership.orgOwn the Dream www.weownthedream.orgMALDEF http://www.maldef.org/Policy Updates/ Research:Pew Research Hispanic Center www.pewhispanic.orgNational Conference of State Legislatures www.Ncls.orgMassachusetts: www.miracoalition.orgNCAN: www.collegeaccess.orgOther ResourcesAlejandra Rincon www.alejandrarinconphd.comUS Citizen and Immigration Services www.uscis.gov
    42. 42. Contact InformationLaura Chriscolchrisco@kippaustin.org