Students and Citizenship Status

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As student support professionals, coaches may be working with students who are undocumented, who face various immigration status challenges, or whose family and loved ones are navigating these issues. 

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According to the Massachusetts Immigrant & Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA), “In Massachusetts, students with DACA or Temporary Protected Status (TPS) qualify for in-state tuition, but undocumented students don’t – no matter how long they’ve lived here. And all these students, including DACA and TPS holders, are ineligible for federal or state financial aid.” 

That said, there are numerous resources for undocumented immigrants and those with temporary protection through the organizations listed above, and through advocates on college campuses.  

  • ★ TIP: UMass Boston, Bunker Hill Community College, and others have programs and policies that are understanding and supportive of undocumented students and those navigating citizenship. Look for offices and administrators who are “UndocuAllies.”
  • ★ TIP: Success Boston coaches and college liaisons can connect students and their advocates with resources, safe offices and people on campus for support. 

Empower students to know their rights and seek out resources and support. Citizenship status does not have to stand in the way of obtaining a degree. 

MIRA’s Temporary Protected Status (TPS) Overview


More on DACA – from MIRA’s DACA Factsheet:

“Established by President Obama in 2012, DACA has allowed hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants to live and work legally in the U.S., subject to renewal every two years. To qualify, you had to be undocumented; have arrived in the U.S. prior to your 16th birthday; have lived continuously in the U.S. since June 15, 2007; be in school or have graduated, obtained a GED, or been honorably discharged from the military; and have no serious criminal record.”

The Trump Administration announced an end to DACA, but “U.S. District Court judges have issued injunctions blocking the termination of DACA. As a result, since late January 2018, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has continued to accept DACA renewal applications.” The U.S. Supreme Court has yet to take up DACA, so the program is in limbo but continues on in the meantime. 

The uncertainty around DACA is stressful and traumatic for many students and families. Seek resources through the links above, and check out the United We Dream Mental Health Toolkit.

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