I’m writing a piece on the ways that Catholic Colleges and Universities, especially my own, are helping undocumented students. The help comes in three ways: Money for tuition/expenses, changing discourse, and political action. What I’m really interested in for this piece is the link between mission and policy changes.
One piece that has emerged is terminology
- Some universities use the term “Dreamers,” referring to students who are advocating for the DREAM act. A typical dreamer came to this country as a child, often as a very young child.
- More universities use the term “undocumented,” and the students to whom I have spoken use that language to describe themselves most commonly.
- There are still places that endorse “illegal.” In fact, yesterday the USA – Undocumented Students and Allies met at Illinois Institute of Technology to demand an end to such terminology and to publicly ask for a meeting with the higher administration to talk about undocumented students at IIT. That said, I also know there are people at IIT who have been working on this topic for a long time. I’d need to do more reporting to figure out what’s going on there (and it’s not the focus of this piece).
- A nice summary of Plyer vs Doe, the 1982 Supreme Court decision that children could not be denied education based on their immigration status.
- Northern Illinois University materials for Undocumented Students – People in the know tell me that NIU was very much out in front of this. I’m writing about the Catholics, but credit where it is due.
- Choose Your Future – Page on undocumented students and college.
- DePaul’s DREAM resource guide.
- Undocumented Student Resources from the Diversity Office at Loyola
- Illinois College Counseling Page on undocumented students.
- ACC&U “action plan” on immigration.
- Major study at Fairfield university on undocumented students and Jesuit schools.
- Illinois Dream Fund – Providing funds for IL dreamers for college.
- Letter from private and public college presidents supporting the Dream Act (Northeastern Il, U of I, Roosevelt, Loyola, DePaul, Dominican)
- Chicago Tribune – 2/11/14 – Dominican receives moral courage award
- USA Today – 5/8/2012 – Colleges look at at policies for illegal immigrants [NOTE TITLE LANGUAGE]
For students at Dominican, the word is out. “When undocumented students apply to a school it’s because they’ve already heard that it’s welcoming,” says freshman Arianna Salgado, 19, an undocumented student who was born in Mexico and has lived in the USA since age 6. “It makes you really comfortable with the whole application process.”
I also interviewed Salgado for my piece.
There’s more, but this is a good start. And no, no one is trying to sue us about it.
More to come on this. Do you know your university’s position? Let me know.