Resources for Policy & Action

Update: January 8, 2020

Immigration lawyer Dan Berger and Cornell professor Stephen Yale-Loehr provide an overview of immigration issues on campus for 2020 in this new guide: Quick Guide to Immigration Issues on Campus - 2020


Update November 22, 2019

The Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration has released several new resource materials:

Update: November 12, 2019

The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments today in the consolidated Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) cases.  Their decision is expected Spring 2020.

Here is a short overview of some of the issues and key stakes for students and campuses in the DACA litigation, and from Vox, 3 ways the Supreme Court could decide DACA's fate.

A new report from the Center for Migration Studies profiles DACA recipients and notes that 15% of active DACA recipients are between the ages of 16-20, and another 66% are between 21-30.

Last week, Harvard Professor Roberto Gonzalez published, The Long-Term Impact of DACA: Forging Futures Despite DACA's Uncertainty, that details the " incremental, yet dramatic, changes in the employment, educational, and well-being trajectories of these respondents." Yet, "given the uncertainty of DACA's future," the report also warns that these gains can be lost, and recommends that "access to higher education benefits, professional development, occupational licensure, and driver’s licenses must be delinked from DACA status.”

UPDATE: October 8, 2019

The Presidents’ Alliance on Immigration and Higher Education reports that 165 public and private universities and colleges from 32 states and the District of Columbia have joined an amicus brief for the forthcoming Supreme Court case regarding Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Included among the Amici are a number of ATD institutions. On November 12, 2019, the Court will hear oral arguments on a series of consolidated cases and determine whether the administration’s rescission of DACA was lawful. 

Click here to read the amicus brief. Click here to read the list of amici.

The brief argues that DACA enabled tens of thousands of undocumented students to pursue and thrive at the colleges and universities listed both in the brief and at higher education institutions across the country. Drawing from the direct experiences of the students and their institutions, the brief shows how DACA recipients contributed immeasurably to their campuses, through academic achievements and co-curricular activities.

In defense of DACA’s continued existence, the brief argues that the rescission of DACA will severely harm the life prospects of these students and alumni, adversely affect our nation’s higher education institutions, undermine the many years of investments that colleges and universities made to support DACA recipients, and sap our higher education communities of needed talent, diversity, and leadership.

To illustrate the consequences of ending DACA, the brief also highlights narratives of directly impacted DACA recipients, including TheDream.US scholars and alumni.

UPDATE: September 20, 2019

Deadline to sign DACA amicus brief extended to September 26. 

  • The Presidents Alliance on Immigration and Higher Education urges higher education institutions to sign on to the Alliance’s amicus brief for DACA. The more institutions that sign on, according to litigators, the more likely the brief will demonstrate the breadth of concern for the future DACA and its impact on students and alumni. The deadline to sign on is Thursday, September 26, 2019. 
  • Colleges have also been asked to sign the Alliance’s OPT amicus brief. The deadline is October 11th and a draft of the brief will be available in early October.

600+ college and university presidents urge Congress to pass bipartisan legislation providing permanent protection for Dreamers.

  • ACE reports that more than 600 college and university presidents have signed their institutions on to a letter, urging Congress to act now to pass bipartisan legislation providing permanent protection for Dreamers. The presidents state that Congress should not wait for the upcoming Supreme Court hearing and decision on DACA to take action to protect Dreamers.
  • The House earlier this year approved legislation to protect Dreamers. However, the Senate has not taken action.
  • A February 2018 CNN poll found that over 80 percent of Americans, across all partisan affiliations, overwhelmingly support Congress protecting Dreamers.
  • The letter, which was organized by ACE with assistance from a number of other higher education associations, urges lawmakers to “come together on a bipartisan basis to address this challenge by doing the right thing for these outstanding young people and for our country."

New Report on Licensure for DACA and other immigrants

A new report by the Presidents’ Alliance and partners discusses the need to expand professional and occupational licenses to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients and other immigrants. The report includes policy recommendations at the state and federal level.

UPDATE: August 26, 2019

The Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration has prepared this one pager on a DACA Amicus brief, the legal arguments, and why institutions should join the brief. Close to 40 institutions have indicated their interest in joining including the Community College System of California. The Alliance will hold a telephonic briefing on Tuesday, September 10, 2019 at 4PM EST | 1 PM PST for those interested in learning more about the amicus brief and getting an update on Supreme Court DACA cases. RSVP for the briefing using this link. This website provides information and the link to join the brief (indicate your interest to join) and start the conflicts check by Perkins Coie. Completing the form does not commit you to ultimately join. Questions should be directed to Bruce Spiva at Perkins Coie ( The deadline to join is September 18, 2019.

UPDATE: August 14, 2019

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published today the final version of the public charge rule. The regulation will go into effect in 60 days unless expected litigation impedes implementation. The public charge test applies to immigrants who are applying for admission or adjustment of status. The Presidents' Alliance and the Community College Consortium for Immigrant Education (CCCIE) issued a response emphasizing the likely negative impact on students and their families, particularly at community colleges. Their full statement may be found here.

The Alliance and the Consortium fear the new rule will undermine the success of immigrant and international students and their families and negatively impact higher education institutions. “We are deeply disappointed that despite the strong concerns raised in thousands of comments, including those submitted by our two organizations and numerous higher education institutions, the final regulation still ignores the extensive evidence that demonstrated the significant, adverse impacts that the rule will have on immigrant families, including U.S. citizen children of immigrants, as well as entire communities and our nation.”

Benefits that will be at risk include any cash benefits for income maintenance, Supplemental Security Income, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), most forms of Medicaid, and certain housing programs. The final rule reaffirms that educational benefits, including Pell grants and federal financial aid, are not included under the public charge rule. Nevertheless, the Alliance and Consortium predict that the regulation will deter immigrant youth and adult learners from enrolling in higher education and workforce training programs and will significantly harm the U.S. society and economy.

Teresita B. Wisell, Executive Director, Community College Consortium for Immigrant Education, stated: “The regulation will disproportionately affect community college students, as one third of community college students have family incomes of less than $20,000. The rule will not only undermine the ability of students and their families to succeed at our nation’s community colleges—which our nation universally acknowledges as a critical pipeline to the workforce and further education—but discourages individuals from accessing the services for which they are otherwise eligible. A hungry student is a student who cannot study, cannot focus on her studies, and whose success is uncertain. This regulation deprives immigrant students and their families from accessing the services needed to be healthy and productive contributors to our communities and country.”

UPDATE: June 28, 2019

The Supreme Court announced today it will review whether President Trump has the authority to end Obama-era DACA provisions. A decision siding with the administration could strip protections for nearly 700,000 “Dreamers”. The case will be heard this Fall with a decision not expected until Spring 2020.

UPDATE: June 26, 2019

The Presidents’ Alliance for Higher Education and Immigration has released a new resource for colleges desiring to create protoculs regarding what staff should know and do if the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) ICE comes to campus.

While the media reports that the administration’s announced plans for ICE to conduct immigration raids have been delayed while negotiations in Congress continue, campuses may wish to tap several resources to be prepared for any potential future actions by ICE. These include:

  • The Presidents’ Alliance FAQ on what to do if ICE comes to your campus which can be found here
  • An example of a past campus message regarding possible ICE action at Berkeley can be found here
  • Materials created by the Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) to educate immigrant communities and allies and prepare individuals for possible encounters with immigration authorities:
  • United We Dream created the Notifica app, which allows immigrants to rapidly share with trusted contacts whether they encounter ICE and report enforcement activity. United We Dream also developed a social media toolkit to assist immigrant communities who may be targeted by raids.

Communities can also prepare themselves with these additional resources:

UPDATED June 5, 2019

The U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation on June 4 to grant a path to citizenship to about 2.5 million immigrants. The bill would create a new legal pathway for young undocumented immigrants brought to the United States illegally as children, known as Dreamers, and for those with Temporary Protected Status, granted to immigrants whose countries are ravaged by natural disaster or violence. The bill moves to the U.S. Senate where it is not expected to be supported by a majority. It does, however, create another opportunity and avenue for debate and advocacy.

UPDATED MAY, 2019 - The House vote on H.R. 6 may occur on Tuesday, June 4th

The Presidents’ Alliance on Immigration and Higher Education reports that the House Judiciary Committee has reported the DREAM Act of 2019 (HR 2820) and the American Promise Act of 2019 (HR 2821) to the floor. This sets the stage for merging the two bills and voting on passage. The two bills represent key titles of the American Dream and Promise Act (HR 6) which would provide relief for more than 2.6M Dreamers, Temporary Protected Status (TPS) recipients, and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) holders.

Meanwhile, President Trump announced an immigration proposal that would reduce family-based immigration while increasing the proportions of “merit-based” immigration; prioritizing individual, younger, highly-educated and skilled immigrants; and encouraging international students to stay and work in the U.S.  The proposal did not address DACA or provide measures to protect Dreamers and TPS/DED recipients from deportation.

A toolkit prepared by the Presidents’ Alliance for advocacy in support of students falling in these groups can be found here.


Thousands of immigrant students are looking to our institutions to help them realize their dreams for a good education, a family sustaining job, and a place in our communities where their talents and their passion can be used to build stronger families and communities. Many colleges in our Achieving the Dream Network are working extraordinarily hard to find ways to support and protect these students as well as faculty and staff who may be affected by policy changes regarding immigration and international student engagement.

At ATD's DREAM 2017 and again at DREAM 2019, ATD featured spotlight sessions to create space for dialog with national immigration advocates and experts. ATD will continue to help by updating this space for sharing resources colleges can use to advocate for and serve immigrant and international students on their campuses.

Immigrant students, faculty, and staff are at the heart of higher education, helping to spur innovation, growth, and success on our campuses. As an immigrant myself, I know first-hand the difference our higher education institutions make in the trajectory of immigrant students’ lives.  At Bunker Hill, advocating for and serving DACA, international, and other immigrant students well is an equity priority.           ---  Dr. Pam Y. Eddinger, president, Bunker Hill Community College

Material previously posted on this page to respond to shifts in DACA policy and the 2017 travel bans are archived here.  Newer material related to the March 12th introduction of HR 6, the DREAM and Promise Act, and subsequent Senate bills, the Dream Act of 2019 and the SECURE Act, will be added periodically for our ATD Network’s convenience.

HR 6 seeks to provide a pathway to permanent legal status for two groups of immigrants: The DREAMers – unauthorized immigrants who came to this country as children, and immigrants who have been protected due to war or natural disasters in their home countries. The Senate bills would provide a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers and Temporary Protection Status and Deferred Enforced Departure holders.

Supporting immigrant students and campus members is not only the right thing to do, but it is the smart thing to do and in the best interests of our campuses, communities, and country. Yet only Congress can pass legislation that will provide permanent protection for all Dreamers.  ---  Miriam Feldblum, CEO of the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration.

Among the organizations contributing to this collection are the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration, TheDREAM.US, Community College Consortium for Immigrant Education, The National Forum on Higher Education for the Public Good, and the UndocScholars Project. 

If your institution has resources to share, please forward to


TheDream.US is the nation’s largest college access and success program for immigrant youth, serving over 4,000 current and former Scholars. By collaborating with partner universities and community colleges, TheDream.US provides scholarships to undocumented immigrant students who currently hold or are eligible for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) or Temporary Protected Status (TPS).

Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration is an alliance of American college and university leaders dedicated to increasing public understanding of how immigration policies and practices impact students, campuses, and communities. The Alliance supports policies that create a welcoming environment for immigrant, undocumented, and international students.

Community College Consortium for Immigrant Education (CCCIE) is a national network of community colleges that have demonstrated a commitment to immigrant education through their innovative programs and services for their immigrant student populations. CCCIE builds the capacity of community colleges to accelerate immigrant and refugee success and raises awareness of the essential role these colleges play in advancing immigrant integration in our communities.

The National Forum on Higher Education for the Public Good, University of Michigan exists to support higher education’s role as a public good.   In this pursuit, the Forum utilizes research and other tools to create and disseminate knowledge that addresses higher education issues of public importance.

UndocuScholars Project seeks to help expand knowledge about the undocumented college student population, challenge false assumptions and damaging misperceptions, and reveal the extent to which immigrants are misunderstood and mischaracterized in higher education.  Activities include engaging institutional agents, college and university students, scholars, and community advocacy partners to create and further build on sustainable and effective best practices for undocumented youth in higher education.


Dream and Promise Act of 2019 ToolkitPresidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration, 2019

In Their Own Words: Higher Education, DACA and TPS, Results from a National Survey of TheDream.US Scholars, October 2018

Undocumented Student Resource Centers: Institutional Supports for Undocumented Students by Jesus Cisneros, The University of Texas at El Paso and Diana Valdivia, University of California, Santa Barbara

Implementation of Public and Institutional Policies for Undocumented and DACAmented Students at Higher Education Institutions by H. Kenny Nienhusser, Assistant Professor, University of Connecticut, October 2018

Navigating Higher Education Opportunities Series #1: Surpassing Borders and Barriers by Jacqueline, May 2018

Higher Ed Immigration Policy Guide: Current and upcoming immigration policies impacting the higher ed community, Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration, 2018


HR 6 American Dream and Promise Act of 2019

Summary of American Dream and Promise Act of 2019  

Distinctions between HR 6 and the Dream Act of 2017

Representatives Roybal-Allard, Velázquez and Clarke Fact Sheet on the Bill

More Than a DREAM (Act), Less Than a Promise Migration Policy Institute’s estimates for who would benefit under the bill

Press release for Senate Dream Act of 2019


Migration Policy Institute Fact Sheet on Number of Dreamers Graduating from High School

USCIS Releases Updated DACA Data and Statistics as of Jan. 31, 2019


College Presidents with Undocumented Students Series


Supporting Undocumented Students via Resource Centers: What Institutions can Learn from New Research and Best Practices, October 2018

Briefing on Dream and Promise Act of 2019


Higher Education and Immigration: The State of Play, Advocacy & Support for Immigrant Students Nationally, Locally & On Campus



Shadowbox Semi-Transparent Layer


Shadowbox Content Here