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ERIC Number: ED532871
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Apr
Pages: 32
Abstractor: ERIC
Young Lives on Hold: The College Dreams of Undocumented Students
Gonzales, Roberto G.
College Board Advocacy & Policy Center
The current political debate over undocumented immigrants in the United States has largely ignored the plight of undocumented children. Yet children account for 1.8 million, or 15 percent, of the undocumented immigrants now living in this country. Although not born in the United States, these children have, for the most part, grown up in the United States and received much of their primary and secondary school education here. Without a means to legalize their status, they are seldom able to go on to college and cannot work legally in this country. Moreover, at any time they can be deported to countries they barely know. This wasted talent imposes economic and emotional costs on undocumented students themselves and on the U.S. society as a whole. Currently trapped in a legal paradox, undocumented students in the United States have the right to a primary and secondary school education, but then face uncertainty upon graduation from high school. While some states explicitly allow undocumented students to attend college, there are many confusing, gray areas that cloud the college admissions, financial aid and enrollment processes. Moreover, undocumented students cannot legally join their native-born peers in the workforce, where Bureau of Labor Statistics data indicate educated workers are needed. A significant proportion of undocumented students have navigated our K-12 schools successfully despite the challenges of migration and discrimination--in addition to the typical difficulties faced by all adolescents. Many have the academic preparation to pursue a postsecondary education, but their economic and social mobility is severely restricted by their undocumented status. The DREAM Act would provide a path to legal residence for undocumented youth. It also would open the door to college for tens of thousands of students who have the knowledge, skills and aspirations to pursue a college degree and to make a healthy, sustained and important contribution to the economic and social well-being of our nation. (Contains 3 figures and 58 endnotes.) [Foreword by Marcelo M. Suarez-Orozco.]
College Board Advocacy & Policy Center. 45 Columbus Avenue, New York, NY 10023. Tel: 212-713-8165; Fax: 212-713-8143; e-mail:; email:; email:; Web site: http://advocacy.colle
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: College Board Advocacy & Policy Center
Identifiers - Location: United States
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A