(1) Maintain respect.
Being undocumented is an immense burden and psychological stress factor - an undocumented individual and their family are at constant risk of being expelled from their home country. Being undocumented means not having access to many state or federal resources that everybody else may take for granted. Be mindful of your questions and keep in mind that asking about one's immigration status can be very intrusive and threatening.
(2) Inform yourself.
There are ways to learn about the challenges that undocumented students face on and off campus. MOSAIC hosts programming that educates the campus community on undocumented students so feel free to reach out to them about upcoming educational opportunities. You can also ask a student (who is comfortable talking about it) who has been open to you about their immigration status.
(3) Recognize the barriers to education.
Only 5-10% of undocumented youth ever enroll in college - in comparison, the overall percentage of students enrolling in college in the fall immediately after high school was nearly 70% in 2014 (NCES, 2015). In part, this is because no federal or state financial aid or loans are available for undocumented students in Colorado, and even private loans are almost impossible to obtain. You can be an effective ally to undocumented students by openly addressing the need to make higher education equally accessible for all.
(4) Show your support.
A simple sign in your office - such as the flyer available on this page - can show an undocumented student that they are in a safe space. Also, when reviewing on- and off-campus support programs and organizations, be sure to include groups and events that serve the specific needs of undocumented individuals (e.g., UNIDOS).
(5) Get involved.
Connect with our MOSAIC Student Advocacy and Support Student Assistant via firstname.lastname@example.org or (719) 255-3319 if you would like to help better support and serve Dreamers at UCCS. We are always welcoming new ideas for programming and student services aimed at closing equity gaps in higher education for undocumented students!