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Assisting Undocumented Students in Higher Education UC Counselor Conference 2008
A Historical, Political and Educational Overview
Plyler v. Doe • In 1982, MALDEF argued Plyler v. Doe before the Supreme Court and won. • The court held that the children of unprotected immigrants were protected under the dueprocess clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and were entitled to a public education.
“Leticia A” Ruling • Leticia A, 1985: Alameda County Superior Court ruling made it possible for undocumented immigrants who had graduated from a California high school to attend a California State University and avoid out-of-state fees. • The ruling, called the "Leticia A" decision, allowed undocumented students to establish residency by demonstrating intent to reside in the state for more than a year. In addition, students were eligible to receive state aid.
“Leticia A” Ruling • 1985– 1991: the Alameda County Court ruling on Leticia A v. UC Regents and California State University System establishes that undocumented students can be treated as residents for tuition and state financial aid purposes. • 1991– 1992: Bradford vs. UC Board of Regents Los Angeles Superior Court overturns the Alameda County Leticia A court ruling for both the UC and CSU systems.
“Leticia A” Ruling • Community colleges are not mentioned in the ruling, but they implement the new ruling. • From 1992– 2001, undocumented students attending the University of California, California State University and California Community Colleges were charged out-of-state tuition. • Several attempts were made by legislators to introduce legislation to allow students to attend school and pay in-state fees, but there was much opposition.
Current State Law: Assembly Bill 540
What is AB 540? • On October 12, 2001, Governor Gray Davis signed Assembly Bill 540 into law. • AB 540, authored by the late Assembly member Marco A. Firebaugh (D-South Gate), authorized any students, including undocumented students, who meet specified criteria to pay in-state tuition at California public colleges and universities.
AB 540 Eligibility Students are eligible if… Ø They have attended a California high school for 3 or more years (can be nonconsecutive). Ø They have or will graduate from a California high school or have attained a G. E. D. Ø They file an affidavit as required by individual institutions, stating that they will apply for legal residency when they are eligible to do so. They must register at or enroll in an accredited institution of higher education in California.
What are AB 540’s advantages and disadvantages? • AB 540’s singular provision is to provide in-state fees for unprotected immigrant students. • AB 540 does not change a student’s resident status. • AB 540 does not provide access to federal or state financial aid.
Can a non-eligible AB 540 student attend a college or university? • A non eligible AB 540 student is one who does not qualify for the AB 540 waiver. Ø YES, they can attend as long as they meet the admissions criteria and are accepted by the college or university. BUT: In most situations, they will not be eligible for instate fees. Ø They are also prevented from working unless they have a worker’s permit—which most do not. Ø
Are undocumented students eligible for direct student aid or support services? • Both eligible and non-eligible AB 540 students will NOT qualify for public in-state or federal financial aid--in most cases. • They are eligible for private scholarships not requiring U. S. citizenship or legal residency. • They are also eligible for most UC student support services (e. g. , EOP/AAP, etc. ). • They are not eligible for federal programs (e. g. , TRIO Upward Bound, SSS, Talent Search).
Financial Aid Eligibility • Since financial aid is considered to be domestic assistance, it is available only to citizens or permanent residents or to those who are in this country for other than a temporary purpose. Ø A student who is in the U. S. on an F-1 or F-2 student visa is, by definition, here for a temporary purpose and therefore is not eligible. • A non-citizen with permanent resident status in the U. S. will hold either form K-151 or form I-551 (Alien Registration Card or "Green" Card). The student is eligible for the federal financial aid.
Proposed and Current State Legislation
What is the California Dream Act? • The California Dream Act SB 1301 is a state legislative proposal that allows AB 540–eligible students to apply and compete for campus financial aid at California public colleges and universities. • This is the third version that will make it’s way to the Governor’s desk.
What law will the California Dream Act specifically change? • Amend the Donahoe Higher Education Act • Require the CSU and California Community Colleges (and request UC) to establish procedures and forms for AB 540– eligible students to be eligible to receive institutional financial aid awards. • It would define institutional financial aid as financial assistance offered by a campus of the California Community Colleges, California State University or University of California, including grant, scholarship, work study and loan programs. The bill would specify that institutional financial aid does not include a board of governors fee waiver.
Other State Initiatives • To date, 10 states have passed legislation to allow undocumented students to enroll in colleges and pay resident fees. • Other states are reviewing similar bills.
State Year of Passage and Financial Law Number Aid Texas 2001 - HB 1403 YES California 2001 - AB 540 NO Utah 2002 - HB 144 NO New York 2002 – SB 7784 NO Washington 2003 – HB 1079 NO Illinois 2003 – HB 0060 NO Oklahoma 2003 – HB 1559 Limited Kansas 2004 – HB 2145 NO New Mexico 2005 – SB 582 YES Nebraska 2006 – LB 239 NO
Implications and Shortcomings of State Bills • Interpretation in the implementation process from one district to another, from one system to another • Proof of required documentation varies. • Interpretation of the 3 -year-equivalency rule • Training is necessary to inform educators and the public. • Does not exempt students from graduate tests or allow them to apply for state credentials, i. e. , teaching, nursing, etc.
Proposed Federal Legislation
What is the DREAM Act? The Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act (DREAM Act) • Bipartisan legislation sponsored in the Senate by Richard Durbin (D-IL), Chuck Hagel (R-NE) and Richard Lugar (R-IN), and in the House by Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R-FL), Howard Berman (D-CA) and Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA) • Addresses the situation faced by young people who were brought to the U. S. years ago as undocumented immigrant children but who have since grown up here, stayed in school and kept out of trouble •
What will the DREAM Act do? • Under the DREAM Act, high school graduates would be permitted to apply for up to 6 years of legal residence conditional status. • During the 6 -year period, the student would be required to graduate from a 2 -year college, complete at least 2 years toward a 4 -year degree or serve in the U. S. military for at least 2 years. • Permanent residence would be granted at the end of the 6 -year period if the student has met these requirements and has continued to maintain good moral character. • Eliminate a federal provision that discourages states from providing in-state tuition to their undocumented immigrant student residents, thus restoring full authority to states to determine state college and university fees.
Who are these undocumented students? • Are NOT all Latinos • They come from many countries, brought to this country by their parents and have been raised in the United States like their U. S. citizen classmates. • Were brought to the U. S. at a very young age • Have been raised here since childhood and therefore know no other country • Were brought to the U. S. without legal documentation, or were brought with a visa that was allowed to expire
Who are these undocumented students? • May not even realize that they are in violation of U. S. immigration laws • Come from low-income families where parents often earn less than minimum wage • Often work 30 -40 hours a week to help sustain the family and pay for their education • Are often high achievers who have excelled academically throughout their schooling • Are honest and hardworking adolescents and young adults who strive for academic as well as professional excellence
Barriers and Challenges
Barriers and Challenges Personal deterrents for students include: • Limited financial support from family to help cover the cost of fees, books and personal expenses • Transportation (commuting on the bus for hours each way because they can not afford to live in university housing) • Working excessive hours (no work = no education) • Family obligations — helping with household and sibling responsibilities • Fear of being detected by immigration authorities
Barriers and Challenges Educational deterrents include: • Inability to obtain financial aid from the institution • Inability to pursue academic careers that require state licensing, background checks or Social Security numbers (nursing, law, teaching, etc. ) • Inability to travel and participate in conferences, field trips or research colloquiums • Inability to accept paid internships or qualify for on-campus student employment • Inability to provide CA identification affecting the ability to take tests for graduate school, i. e. , GRE, MCAT and/or LSAT • Inability to work in the chosen professional field after graduation
Barriers and Challenges Institutional deterrents consist of: • Staff’s lack of knowledge regarding AB 540 provisions and regulations • Overall lack of commitment by campuses to serve AB 540 students • Insensitivity, rudeness and demeaning attitude • Students being turned away or denied access for failure to provide unnecessary documentation such as a Social Security number, driver’s license and/or residency documentation
Building a Support Network Campus Resources: • Identify official campus representative(s) to be liaison • • • for students Identify campus allies and safe zones Establish student organizations Find community organization referrals Seek reputable legal assistance Create mentoring programs Develop a book loan/bank program
Building a Support Network AB 540 students should receive: • Respect as students and as human beings • Creative solutions and options to enrich their educational experience • Emotional support and understanding of their personal challenges by the institution, faculty, staff and other students • Counseling support that is knowledgeable about their challenges and helps to address their concerns/frustrations • Confidentiality and safety • Sensitive and culturally competent advising from faculty and staff
How can you help? Get Involved: • What program, resources and ideas do you have on your campus to assist AB 540 students? • What strategies have been developed to advocate for AB 540 students at your campus? • How do AB 540 students advocate for themselves on your campus?
Resources • National Immigration Law Center - Josh Bernstein Ø www. nilc. org • MALDEF: Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund Ø www. maldef. org • Coalition for Humane Immigrants Rights of Los Angeles Ø www. chirla. org • AB 540 Resource Guide Ø www. usc. edu/dept/chepa/pdf/AB%20540%20 final. pdf • AB 540 Online Student Resources Ø www. decolonizing. com/ab 540. htm • Educators for Fair Consideration Ø www. e 4 fc. org/educationandoutreach. html
Scholarship Resources • Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund Ø www. maldef. org/pdf/Scholarships. pdf • Paying for College Student Resource Guide Ø www. house. gov/roybal-allard/2008_Resource_Guide. pdf • Latino College Dollars Ø www. latinocollegedollars. org/directory. htm • Salvadoran-American Leadership and Educational Fund Ø www. salef. org
Questions? Contact Us… Alex Delgadillo, UC Merced [email protected] edu (209) 228 -4625 Monica Galvan, UC Santa Cruz [email protected] edu (831) 459 -1778 Alfred Herrera, UCLA [email protected] ucla. edu (310) 267 -4441