This section highlights some important reports, scholarly articles and publications that focus on undocumented students, undocumented student centers and related topics. 

  • Advancing Equity for Undocumented Students and Students from Mixed-Status Families at the University of California. 
  • Based on data from a spring 2020 survey of 2,742 UC undergraduate students, this report compares the experiences of three groups: undocumented immigrant students, U.S. citizen students with undocumented parents, and U.S. citizen students with immigrant parents who are permanent residents or naturalized citizens. The findings powerfully illustrate that immigration policy disrupts the educational experiences and wellbeing not only of undergraduate college students who are undocumented, but also those students who are citizens from mixed-status families. This report identifies areas of improvement to advance equity for all students affected by immigration policies that harm undocumented immigrants and individuals with precarious legal statuses.

  • Dreamers Project Report 
  • The report identifies challenges in serving undocumented students in the California Community Colleges. In order to create systemic change that benefits all of California, recommendations for how to better serve undocumented students, paired with current promising practices, are provided for implementation at the individual, group, and institutional levels.

  • “I’m Here to Fight Along With You”: Undocumented Student Resource Centers Creating Possibilities
  • Operating from intersecting theories of validation, marginality, and mattering, this phenomenological study investigated undocumented student support services from the perspective of 49 Undocumented Student Resource Center (USRC) practitioners. In-depth interviews highlighted the ways that USRC practitioners served as validating agents, directly transmitting or negotiating the transmission of institutional resources and services for undocumented students. USRC practitioners engaged in complex multisector work; relatability, validation, and empowerment strategies; and holistic approaches toward student support. Their narratives evidence best practices in undocumented student support services and contribute to the generation of practice-related opportunities across higher education institutions. This study raises implications for higher education research and practice. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved)

  • Mediating Illegality: Federal, State, and Institutional Policies in the Educational Experiences of Undocumented College Students
  • Immigration federalism scholarship has established that state and local government policies can make federally defined immigration status more or less consequential. Drawing primarily on focus groups and interviews with 184 undocumented students attending the University of California, we suggest that institutional policies work alongside state and local efforts to mediate the consequences of illegality for undocumented students. We find that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, state-funded financial aid policies, and university support programs all facilitate the integration of undocumented students by increasing access to higher education and enabling fuller participation. Although federal policies contribute to persistent barriers to academic engagement and professional development, we show that universities can intervene to improve educational experiences and opportunities. Ultimately, we argue that university policies are a key site for intervening in immigration policy and constructing immigrant illegality.

  • Undocumented Undergraduates on College Campuses: Understanding Their Challenges and Assets and What It Takes to Make an Undocufriendly Campus
  • In this article, Carola Suárez-Orozco and colleagues investigate how to improve undocumented undergraduate student experiences across a variety of US campuses. The authors draw on a national survey of diverse undocumented undergraduates attending two- and four-year public and private institutions of higher education. Using an ecological framework that accounts for risk and resilience, Suárez-Orozco and colleagues provide insights into the challenges undocumented undergraduates face and the assets they bring as they navigate their educational contexts. The authors also consider the role of campuses in shaping these experiences and make recommendations, based on quantitative data and the perspectives of students, for creating undocufriendly campuses.

  • Undocumented Students in Higher Education
  • Undocumented immigrants, including DACA recipients, are integral members of communities across the United States, paying taxes, starting businesses, and serving in key industries, with many on the front lines as essential workers and health professionals battling the COVID-19 pandemic. Hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants are students enrolled in higher education, working to obtain degrees and going on to use those skills as significant contributors to our economy. New estimates, drawn from the 2019 American Community Survey (ACS), indicate that undocumented students account for more than 427,000 or approximately 2 percent of all students in higher education in the United States. Students with DACA or who are eligible for DACA (referred to as “DACA-eligible”) represent less than half of the undocumented student population, constituting a subset of approximately 181,000 students or 0.8 percent of all students in higher education. The new estimates are an update to an April 16, 2020 report by New American Economy and the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration, Undocumented Students in Higher Education: How Many Students are in U.S. Colleges and Universities, and Who Are They?

  • “We Are Legit Now”: Establishing Undocumented Student Resource Centers on Campus
  • Operating from Astin’s theory of involvement, we analyzed interviews with practitioners from 49 undocumented student resource centers (USRCs). Interview transcripts, shorthand notes, and memos, as well as key documents, provided the context for understanding the emergence, naming, and structure of USRCs at institutions of higher education. Study participants attributed the development of USRCs to undocumented student mobilization over the years.