The goal of this section is only to highlight the diversity and intersectionality within the undocumented community, but we are aware there are many other communities not mentioned in this section.
* Please be mindful when outreaching and providing services to undocumented students, that you are translating your materials to other languages other than Spanish and partnering with communities and non-profits outside the Chicana/o and Latinx efforts on your campus.
Undocumented Asians and Pacific Islanders (API) refer to immigrants who trace their origins and identities to Asia and the Pacific Islands. Since 2000, APIs are the fastest growing population of undocumented immigrants in the United States. We encourage you to visit the Immigrants Rising Increasing Inclusivity for Undocumented Asian & Pacific Islander (API) Students on Your Campus Guide & Webinar. According to this guide Undocumented API students make up 25% of the undocumented population in higher education. Despite increasing support for undocumented students in postsecondary institutions, undocumented API students still feel unseen and underserved. These students balance the struggles of low-income, first-generation students while not always acknowledged as being undocumented. Many are also taught to not disclose their status, making it harder for them to connect with the resources and support they need to access and navigate higher education.
If such needs remain unaddressed, this gap in service will only grow as the population increases. It is important for educators to not only recognize undocumented API students, but also increase advocacy and create spaces to provide support for this student population.
ALOE’s (Undocumented API Leadership, Opportunity, and Empowerment) Summary of Resources for UndocuAPIs (Updated 4.13.2021)
Model (Undocumented) Minorities and “Illegal” Immigrants: Centering Asian Americans and US Carcerality in Undocumented Student Discourse by Tracy Lachica Buenavista (2016)
Effectively Supporting Undocumented Students Through Higher Education – Immigrants Rising
Increasing inclusivity for Black undocumented students may seem daunting due to the hyper-invisibility experienced by this student population. But campuses must take responsibility for ensuring ALL students who are admitted into their institutions have the necessary academic resources needed to graduate on time! This guide highlights focus group findings on structural obstacles that continue to plague the education system and negatively impact the Black undocumented community. It aims to raise awareness amongst staff, faculty, and administrators on how
to create access and opportunities for Black undocumented students, which will allow them to thrive in higher education despite their immigration status.
A national network fighting to create space for currently and formerly undocumented Black immigrants to not only survive but thrive.
The Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI) believes that a thriving multiracial democracy requires racial, social and economic justice for all. African Americans and black immigrants are stronger together and we can win by becoming leaders in the fight against structural racism and systemic discrimination. BAJI was formed to bring Black voices together to advocate for equality and justice in our laws and our communities.
BAJI additional resources
The UCLA School of Law estimates there are at least 289,700 Undocumented trans and queer people in the United States, of whom face particular barriers when navigating institutions in the United States. From obtaining gender-affirming identification to the possibility of trans/homophobic bias affecting change of status by marriage, many of the barriers faced by non-heterosexual undocumented people carry an extra level of anxiety for trans and queer folks. To this day, undocumented trans and queer people’s existence have become a public political debate with real life implications impacting their very legality to exist as immigrants and as queer/trans people. The threat of deportation also carries higher stakes for some queer and trans people. Yet it is queer and trans people, along with hetero-cis women, who have led some of the biggest contemporary immigration campaigns.
Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement works at the local and national levels to achieve the collective liberation of trans, queer, and gender-nonconforming Latinxs through building community, organizing, advocacy, and education. Familia is committed to the collective liberation of trans, queer, and gender-nonconforming Latinxs to build power and (re)imagine our communities free from oppression. We seek to abolish the systems that marginalize, criminalize, imprison, and kill our people. We are building on the legacy of racial justice and liberation movements.
Black LGBTQIA+ Migrant Project is an independent organization that is led by a directly impacted steering committee and fiscally sponsored by Transgender Law Center. BLMP is providing cash assistance to Black LGBTQ+ migrants and first-generation people dealing with the impact of COVID-19. Donate via the form to the right. For questions about donating to BLMP, please email tribe@BLMP.org.
LAMBDA Legal Lambda Legal was founded in 1973 as the nation’s first legal organization dedicated to achieving full equality for lesbian and gay people. When founder Bill Thom filed an application in early 1972 to establish Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, he borrowed from the bylaws of another newly established organization—the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund (now Latino Justice PRLDEF).
Border Butterflies Project is a binational project anchored by Transgender Law Center, Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement, National Immigrant Justice Center, Arcoiris and other US and Mexican organizations. The project aims to support LGBTQ asylum seekers at the US-Mexico border with legal, humanitarian, post-detention and organizing.
The UndocuQueer movement is a powerful network of queer undocumented immigrant activists organizing for the rights of undocumented youth and their families. UndocuQueer activists came to the U.S. as infants or children. UndocuQueers struggle for the right to work, live, and love in the country in which they were raised and educated. Without documentation, even those who have earned college degrees are denied work in the above-ground economy and are subject to deportation. Given their precarious citizenship status, sexual orientation and transgender realities, visibility makes UndocuQueers vulnerable, however, they refuse to remain in the shadows.
The National Center for Transgender Equality estimates that roughly 15,000 to 50,000 people in this country are undocumented and transgender. Trans people who are undocumented have more difficult hurdles than their cisgender counterparts. Outdated legal documents and forms that don’t reflect the diversity in gender expression and demand disclosure of gender identity can trigger dysphoria as well as put an individual in a situation where they would be outed. Showing identification that does not match current gender expression can complicate everyday activities from signing up for a new bank account, having a drink at a bar, or even applying to DACA. According to Center for American Progress, transgender women are disproportionately detained in immigration centers, face higher rates of abuse and medical neglect, and are less likely to win their asylum cases if they are detained. Immigration discourse that includes trans people’s needs and experiences is crucial to improve the lives of all immigrants at large.
Mariposa Sin Fronteras is a Tucson, AZ based group that seeks to end the systemic violence and abuse of LGBTQ people held in prison and immigration detention. MSF envisions a society that no longer finds solutions in the system of immigration detention or the prison industrial complex. As we work toward that goal, we support LGBTQ people currently detained in Eloy and Florence, AZ through visits, letters, bond support, advocacy, and housing upon freedom from detention.
El/La Para Trans Latinas El/La is an organization for translatinas that works to build collective vision and action to promote our survival and improve our quality of life in the San Francisco Bay Area. Because we exist in a world that fears and hates transgender people, women and immigrants, we fight for justice. We respond to those who see us as shameful, disposable, or less than human. We are here to reflect the style and grace of our survival, and to make new paths for ourselves.
Transgender Law Center Transgender Law Center changes law, policy, and attitudes so that all people can live safely, authentically, and free from discrimination regardless of their gender identity or expression. Transgender Law Center (TLC) is the largest national trans-led organization advocating for a world in which all people are free to define themselves and their futures. Grounded in legal expertise and committed to racial justice, TLC employs a variety of community-driven strategies to keep transgender and gender nonconforming people alive, thriving, and fighting for liberation.
Organización Latina Trans en Texas (OLTT) Defender, Proteger y Asegurar la igualdad de derechos para la población trans en el estado de Texas.Crear y mantener un espacio físico donde las trans ,puedan educarse y analizar la situación legal. Tener accesos básicos de salud, protección social y seguridad de derechos humanos para nuestra población trans. A través de esta iniciativa recibir apoyo de instancias de gobierno, sociedad civil y cooperación internacional, para el fomento de una sociedad prularista , basada en el respeto de los derechos humanos de la población trans.