Who Are Undocumented Students?Undocumented students are foreign nationals for whom any of the following are true:
Who Are Undocumented Students?
Undocumented students are foreign nationals for whom any of the following are true:
- They entered the US without inspection
- They entered the US legally but overstayed
- They have or previously had Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) status
- They are currently in the process of legalizing*
- They are vulnerable immigrants
The term "undocumented immigrant" refers to any person residing in any given country without legal documentation.
Application Process for Undocumented Students
The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA), in collaboration with Los Rios Community College District, offers free virtual/telephonic immigration consultations to Los Rios students, faculty, and staff. CHIRLA immigration services include:
- Immigration consultations
- DACA renewals
- Family-based immigration
- Know your rights
To make an appointment, visit CHIRLA and select Locations and Appointments from the menu.
Note: You are not required to state the nature of your case/question to college staff to make an appointment.
Free immigration legal services are available to students, staff, and faculty affiliated with the California community colleges. Priority for services is given to undocumented students, staff, and faculty. The immigration legal service providers offering services at the 65 campuses have developed scheduling, intake, and reporting processes that ensure student information remains confidential and protected.
Though all legal providers offer legal consultations and basic immigration benefit application assistance, some providers may offer additional services. Basic immigration legal assistance includes:
- Legal consultations to screen for immigration relief
- Deferred Action from Childhood Arrivals (DACA) renewals
- Family-based petitions
- Naturalization/citizenship applications
Visit the California Community Colleges Undocumented Student Legal Services website to access these resources.
The DACA Assistance Fund is a one-time allocation of $3 million to support students, faculty, and staff across the California Community Colleges to pay for the $495 filing fee.
Who is eligible?
- Dual Enrolled students
- Noncredit students
- Adult education
The Fund supports both first-time applicants as well as those renewing their DACA within 150 days of their permit expiring.
What if the USCIS is not accepting applications at this time?
According to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), requests will remain on hold, in "pending" status, while the Southern District of Texas order remains in effect. With respect to individuals who have not yet filed for DACA, under the Court's order, USCIS may continue to accept first-time DACA applications, but may not grant any initial DACA requests at this time. It is unclear whether there is any benefit to applying for initial DACA at this time. Please consult with a licensed immigration attorney or DOJ accredited representative for advice on your case.
How to access benefits:
To access benefits from the Community College Immigration Services Project, students, faculty, and staff need to make an appointment with their region's identified host college, which can be found on the Chancellor's Office website.
Eligible individuals from any California Community College can schedule an appointment within their specific region and must choose a college that is closest to them.
For questions regarding eligibility or issues with scheduling, please email Alonso Garcia at email@example.com.
If I am already working with an organization that is not listed, can I still get assistance?
In order to be eligible to receive assistance with the USCIS filing fee, eligible individuals must use one of the nine legal service providers contracted to provide services under the Community College Immigration Services Project.
Fee Reimbursement Policy
If you filed before connecting with one of the nine chosen legal services providers, you are not eligible to receive a reimbursement of your fees.
Call Sacramento Rapid Response Network at (916) 245-6773 to report ICE activity.
Download our informational flyer: Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Just Showed Up! Now What?.
- California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation – Call (916) 446-7901 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Catholic Charities of California – Call (916) 706-1539.
- Center for Workers Rights – Call (916) 905-5857 or email email@example.com.
- McGeorge School of Law Immigration Clinic – Call (916) 739-7191 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Mexican Consulate of Sacramento – Call (916) 329-3500 or email email@example.com.
- Opening Doors – Call (916) 492-2591 ext. 238 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services – Call (916) 456-1980 or email email@example.com.
- Sacramento FUEL Network – Call (916) 234-3734 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- UC Davis Legal Immigration Clinic – Call (530) 752-7996 or email email@example.com.
- World Relief Sacramento – Call (916) 978-2650 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Asian Resources, Inc. – Call (916) 454-1892 or email email@example.com.
- California Family Resource Center – Call (916) 993-7781 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- La Familia Counseling Center – Call (916) 452-3601 or email email@example.com.
- Latino Coalition for a Healthy California – Call (916) 448-3234 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Sacramento State Dreamer Resource Center – Call (916) 278-7241 or email email@example.com.
- UCD AB 540 & Undocumented Center – Call (530) 752-9538 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Amnesty International
- California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office – Resources for Undocumented Students
- California Immigrant Policy Center – Call (916) 448-6762 or email email@example.com.
- Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA)
- Council on American Islamic Council Relations
- International Rescue Committee Sacramento – Call (916) 482-0120 or email NorthernCalifornia@rescue.org.
- Immigrant Legal Resource Center
- Immigrants Rising
- Jewish Community Relations Council
- National Immigration Law Center – Call (213) 639-3900 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- United We Dream
Learn the definitions of common words and terms.
Assembly Bill 21 (Kalra, 2017) seeks to mitigate the impacts of potential federal changes to immigration enforcement policies and to ensure students have access to their financial aid, legal representation, and their constitutional right to due process. AB 21 also required that the CA Attorney General and the higher education segments (including private universities) adopt a model policy developed by the Attorney General or an equivalent policy, limiting assistance with immigration enforcement to the fullest extent possible consistent with federal and state law.
Assembly Bill 540 was passed in 2001 and grants students who meet certain criteria an exemption from paying nonresident tuition.
The California Dream Act (Assembly Bill 130 and Assembly Bill 131) allows undocumented and nonresident documented students who meet certain requirements to apply for and receive:
- State-administered financial aid
- Community college fee waivers
- Cal grants
Make sure your high school has verified your GPA.
Learn more at www.csac.ca.gov or call (888) 224-7268.
DACA is a federal program for people who came to the US as children and meet several eligibility requirements. DACA provides a two-year deportation reprieve and applicants may apply for a work authorization permit, which is subject to renewal. It does not provide lawful status. Only adults who were 31 years old or younger on June 15, 2012 qualify for this program.
For more information about DACA, visit www.uscis.gov/archive/renew-your-daca.
The Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act (S.1291) legislation was introduced in 2001 as a bipartisan bill in the Senate. The legislative goal was to provide a means for undocumented immigrants who arrived in the US as children to gain a pathway to permanent legal status, provided those individuals achieved certain milestones.
The term Dreamer refers to undocumented students who were brought to the US by their parents as minors and either entered the country without inspection or overstayed their visas. They face unique legal uncertainties and limitations within the US educational system.
An ITIN is a tax-processing number issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). ITINs are issued regardless of immigration status and are used for federal tax reporting only. These numbers are not intended to serve any other purpose. An ITIN can be used to apply to college, but is not required.
International students include those who currently hold specific visas. Undocumented students are not considered international applicants because many do not qualify for a visa and do not have to go through the international admission process.
Learn more about international student admissions.
Mixed-status families include members with different immigration statuses. For example, a common family combination in the United States includes undocumented parents and citizen children.
The term non-citizen applies to students who:
- Are not US citizens or permanent residents
- Do not hold a valid visa
- Are not seeking a visa for study or documentation for residency in the US
An individual with an overstayed visa is one who has stayed in the US after their tourist, visitor, or student visa has expired.
Senate Bill 54 (De Leon, 2017) ensures that no state or local resources are diverted to fuel any attempt by the federal government to carry out mass deportations and that schools, hospitals, and courthouses are safe spaces for everyone in the community.
SB 68 is a law that expands on AB 540 to enable students to count years spent at a California Community College and adult education towards AB 540 eligibility. Additionally, SB 68 allows the completion of an associate degree or satisfaction of the minimum requirements to transfer to the University of California or California State University as sufficient for students to qualify for in-state tuition and financial aid.
Temporary protected status (TPS) is a temporary status given to eligible nationals of designated countries who are present in the US. The status, afforded to nationals from some countries affected by armed conflict or natural disaster, allows persons to live and work in the US for limited times.
UndocuAlly is a term adopted to refer to allies for undocumented young people.
Undocu-friendly is a term that refers to institutions that have policies or systems in place that aim to support undocumented students.
An undocumented individual is one who entered without authorization, entered with a visa and overstayed their visa, or is currently in the process of legalizing.
Undocuscholar is another term for an undocumented student.
U-visa, or the U nonimmigrant status (U visa), is set aside for victims of certain crimes who have suffered mental or physical abuse and are helpful to law enforcement or government officials in the investigation or prosecution of criminal activity.