My Story

  • KeylaTorres_WrightAida Rodriguez

    Palm Beach State College
    Country of origin: Mexico

    Aida Rodriguez, a native of Mexico, received her…

  • KeylaTorres_WrightKeyla Torres

    Wright College
    Country of origin: Honduras

    Keyla Torres, an immigrant from Honduras, started anew at Wright College in…
  • KeylaTorres_WrightVitor Granja

    Westchester Community College
    Country of origin: Brazil

    When Vitor Granja first moved to this country…

  • Fidel Gonzalez SaforaFidel Gonzalez Safora

    Westchester Community College
    Country of origin: Cuba

    “I’m very grateful for the…

  • Giana SalomanGiana Saloman

    LaGuardia Community College
    Country of origin: Haiti

    Giana Saloman was born in Haiti.…

  • Jibril Yahaya LuwaaJibril Yahaya Luwaa

    Westchester Community College
    Country of origin: Ghana

    Growing up in Ghana, I dreamed of…

  • Satwinderjit KaurSatwinderjit Kaur

    Johnson County Community College
    Country of Origin: India

    "Watch your thoughts, they become words.…

  • Cecilia G. CorralCecilia G. Corral

    South Texas College
    Country of origin: Mexico

    At first glance, 18 year old Cecilia…

  • Fernando VillavicencioFernando Villavicencio

    Miami Dade College
    Country of Origin: Ecuador

    Fernando Villavicencio migrated three years ago from his native…

  • Anne Sarie Yva CossogueAnne Sarie Yva Cossogue

    Miami Dade College
    Country of Origin: Haiti

    Anne Sarie Yva Cossogue migrated…


Resources for Community Colleges Serving Undocumented Students

Deadlocked Supreme Court Decision in United States vs. Texas Leaves in Place a Lower Court Ruling That Blocks DAPA/Expanded DACA

The Supreme Court’s June 23, 2016 4-4 split decision in United States v. Texas was a huge disappointment. It leaves in place a lower court ruling that blocks President Obama’s expanded deferred action plan to shield millions of immigrants from deportation and to allow them to work. And it’s a severe blow to the many families that could be contributing members of our communities but instead face the continued threat of being torn apart by deportation.

The two Obama administration initiatives announced in 2014--Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) and the expansion of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)—would have impacted nearly 5 million undocumented immigrants, by allowing certain immigrant parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents, as well as other immigrants who came to the U.S. as children, to apply for temporary work authorization and protection from deportation.

 While the Supreme Courts’ inaction represents a major setback, it calls attention to the urgent need for comprehensive immigration reform from Congress. This current legal impasse also reminds us that, as educators, we must continue to do whatever we can to provide all possible resources through existing channels. The original 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, while not a permanent solution to our nation’s immigration problems, remains in force. DACA has offered hundreds of thousands of undocumented youth temporary protection from deportation and authorization to work, providing they meet several criteria. See  resources and information on DACA below.


President Obama's Directive on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals to the Department of Homeland Security Allows Certain Unauthorized Immigrant Youth Temporary Relief from Deportation

Under the Obama Administration's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, the Department of Homeland Security allows certain immigrant youth who came to the U.S. as children and meet age, educational, residency, and other requirements to apply for deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal. They are also eligible for work authorization. Deferred action is a use of prosecutorial discretion to defer deportation against an individual for a certain period of time. Deferred action does not provide lawful status. DACA does not apply to dependents (parents, siblings). They would have to qualify on their own as individuals.

More than 680,000 young people have received DACA. Researchers estimate that nearly 1.5 million undocumented youth in the U.S. are currently eligible for DACA, and another 400,000 children will become eligible in coming years.

 Under DACA, young people will be able to seek temporary relief from deportation if they:

  • Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012
  • Came to the US before they turned 16
  • Have continuously resided in the U.S. since June 15, 2007, up to the present time
  • Were present in the U.S. on June 15th, 2012 and at the time for making the request for deferred action with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services
  • Had no lawful status on June 15, 2012, meaning that:
    • They never had a lawful immigration status on or before June 15, 2012, or
    • Any lawful immigration status or parole obtained prior to June 15, 2012, had expired as of June 15, 2012;
  • Are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, earned a GED, or have been honorably discharged from the military;
  • Have no criminal history and do not pose a threat to national security or public safety

In 2012, when DACA was first announced, Janet Napolitano, who was Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security at the time, told immigration rights advocates and educators attending a White House Immigration Community Leader Briefing : "It makes no sense to expend our enforcement resources on these young people who were not culpable for being brought to this country and who have grown up here...I've met some of these students-we want their brains and talents here."

CCCIE is pleased to share the following resources on how to support undocumented students, including those eligible for DACA, at your college. We welcome your feedback at

 Additional Resources

  • CCCIE's report, Dreaming Big: What Community Colleges Can Do to Help Undocumented Youth Achieve Their Potential, describes promising practices and recommendations to serve undocumented students in five critical areas: increasing college access, making college affordable, supporting college readiness and success, offering alternatives for adult learners, and improving college retention and completion.
  • United We Dream has created the National Institutions Coming Out Day Toolkit: Institutional Policies and Programs With and For Undocumented Students. Click here for more information. UWD's DEEP program provides resources to engage immigrant students, parents, and educators and organize conferences to improve educational equity. 

  • The Migration Policy Institute has published Relief from Deportation: Demographic Profile of DREAMers Potentially Eligible under the Deferred Action Policy.  See the full report...
  • From WE OWN THE DREAM, an online tool helps young people determine if they are eligible for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
  • USCIS-Deferred Action Process Portal provides detailed FAQs on the process and other helpful links. Individuals seeking more information on the new process should visit ICE's website (at, USCIS's website (at, or DHS's website (at Individuals can also call ICE's hotline (at 1-888-351-4024) or USCIS's hotline (at 1-800-375-5283) with questions or to request more information on the new process. The hotlines offer assistance in English and Spanish. 
  • The U.S. Department of Education has released a comprehensive resource guide to help educators, school leaders and community organizations better support undocumented youth, including DACA recipients.

  • The Migration Policy Institute's data tool and interactive map provides estimates of unauthorized immigrant youth currently eligible for DACA (whether they have applied or not) nationally and in top states and counties.  


DREAM Act 2011 Legislative Update

The Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act is proposed federal legislation that would provide a path to legalization for eligible unauthorized youth and young adults. First introduced in 2001 by Sen.Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Sen.Richard Durbin (D-IL), it has since been introduced regularly, both as a stand-alone bill and as part of comprehensive immigration reform bills in both the House and Senate. The latest version of the DREAM Act, was introduced on May 11, 2011, in the Senate (S. 952) by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and 32 fellow senators, and in the House of Representatives (H.R. 1842) by Reps. Howard Berman (D-CA), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), and Lucille Roybal-Allard.

Click here for National Immigration Law Center's summary of DREAM Act 2011 key features.

Potential DREAM Act Beneficiaries

CCCIE  provided critical input in Migration Policy Institute’s July 2010 report DREAM vs. Reality: An Analysis of Potential DREAM Act Beneficiaries, which estimated that 38 percent of the 2.1million potential beneficiaries—825,000 people—would likely obtain permanent legal status through the DREAM Act’s education and military routes. MPI has issued revised total and state-level estimates of the unauthorized youth and young adults who might be eligible for conditional legal status, based on changes to the DREAM Act legislation pending in Congress. Its July 2010 estimates were based on the DREAM Act of 2009, which had a higher age cutoff (under 35) and would also have allowed those over 35 with a completed postsecondary education to be eligible for legalization. According to MPI’s updated analysis, slightly more than 1.9 million unauthorized youth and young adults would meet the age, time in country, and age at arrival requirements for conditional legal status under the latest versions of the legislation. Of these, 38 percent or 755,000 would likely satisfy  the DREAM Act’s postsecondary or military requirements to obtain legal permanent status. 

The Role of Community Colleges

Are community colleges prepared to serve undocumented students? CCCIE has collaborated with MPI to investigate the impact of DREAM Act legislation on community college systems and practices, including outreach, enrollment, assessment, financial aid, student support services, ESL programs, and other administrative systems. The legislative future for DREAM Act is unclear. However, regardless of any future legislative actions concerning immigration reform, including the DREAM Act, we believe that community colleges must be better prepared to support this population. Watch for CCCIE’s Issue Brief that will highlight key challenges and offer strategies to help community colleges be better prepared to serve undocumented students.

Resources on State Legislation and Federal DREAM Act:

NILC Table Tracks State Bills Regarding Immigrant Access to Education

The National Immigration Law Center is tracking state bills that address access to education for immigrant students. Here are state-by-state tables with bills improving access to higher education or K12 as well as those restricting access to post secondary education with URLs for bill language and updates on current status.  The table includes bills that would improve access by providing in-state tuition to a state’s high school graduates, regardless of their status, or by increasing access to financial aid or scholarships.  It also lists bills that seek to restrict access to education by banning enrollment, in-state tuition, or by creating other barriers to postsecondary or K-12 education for immigrant students. The 2012 state legislative sessions are still active, so information in the table is subject to change. Visit NILC's website for state legislative updates, DREAM Act issues, and contact information for sharing any updates in your state.

Immigration Policy Center's DREAM Act Resources

See Immigration Policy Center’s DREAM Act resource page which includes basic facts, economic analysis, political updates and scholarly opinions. Another feature of their website provides a look at state-specific economic and political impact of immigrants.


  • "California Dream Act Offers Path to College for Undocumented Students"

    Governor Jerry Brown signed the California Dream Act into law in October 2011.  Undocumented students are now eligible for state college aid.  See the article in the LA Times.

  • "In-state tuition for illegal immigrants is preserved with California Supreme Court ruling" California judges have ruled to uphold AB 540, a state law extending tuition relief to undocumented students. This ruling represents a success for students and education advocates to expand educational opportunities and to work towards overall immigrant community advancement and integration. For more information, read more and see reaction from the National Immigration Law Center.
  • “In Historic Move, Senators Durbin and Lugar Call on DHS to Protect Immigrant Youth”
    This news release from America’s Voice, a nonprofit that works to build public and political support for immigration reform, describes a bi-partisan effort toprevent the deportation of immigrant youth who would be eligible for the DREAM Act. According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice, this initiative “is a significant new development in the ongoing immigration reform debate.  This is the first time a bipartisan duo of leading lawmakers has made such a request, and it is a harbinger of things to come….” Read more
  • New Immigration Reform Bill Could Help Undocumented Students
    A Chronicle of Higher Education article discusses the recent legislation, introduced by Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez, Democrat of Illinois, that would create a path to legal residency and citizenship for some undocumented students. Mr. Gutierrez's bill, called the Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America’s Security and Prosperity Act, includes some provisions from the original DREAM Act (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act), , but has expanded or changed some of the original DREAM Act provisions. This new bill adds employment as a pathway for high school students to gain permanent residency, while the original bill provides two years of college or military service as the only routes to permanent residency. Read more 
  • "President Obama Links Immigration Overhaul in 2010 to G.O.P. Backing." 
    This New York Times article assesses the political climate in Washington for an overhaul of the immigration system and discusses the bill being shaped by Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York, and Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina. Meanwhile, young immigrants, including undocumented students, rallied in several cities for immigration reform. Read more
  • Struggling with the Status of Undocumented Students
    States are unsure of what to do about the issue of undocumented students. This article, featured in The Community College Times, a publication of the American Association of Community Colleges, presents an overview of how some states address the issue and the potential impact of federal DREAM Act legislation. Also described are CCCIE’s initiatives to educate the public on the DREAM Act and the challenges community colleges face in meeting the educational needs of the immigrant population. Read more
  • AACC President Urges Congress to Revive the DREAM Act
    In a 2008 op-ed article for The Chronicle of Higher Education, AACC President and CEO Dr. George R. Boggs notes that passage of the DREAM Act would directly affect the nation’s economic competitiveness and urges college administrators, faculty members, and students to educate local business leaders about the importance of the DREAM Act in their communities. “While much of the business community supports comprehensive immigration reform and increases in the numbers of highly skilled foreign workers brought into the United States, it has remained largely silent on the DREAM Act,” according to Boggs. Read more



Please refer to our Reports: Undocumented Students and the DREAM Act page to read relevant papers and studies.