Resources for Policy & Action

UPDATE: October 15, 2021

As part of the National Week of Action in Support of Black Migrants, the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration has called for the Administration and Congress to address harmful anti-Black practices experienced by Black migrants, refugees, and immigrants, including those at the U.S. Mexican border and Black DACA applicants. Read more here.

UPDATE: October 11, 2021

President Biden issued an executive order announcing the creation of the White House Initiative on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity for Native Americans and Strengthening Tribal Colleges and Universities, with the Secretary of Education, the Secretary of the Interior, and the Secretary of Labor as Co-Chairs. 

Affirming, “It is the policy of my Administration to advance equity, excellence, and justice in our Nation's education system and to further Tribal self-governance, including by supporting activities that expand educational opportunities and improve educational outcomes for all Native American students”, the president pledged to “help expand opportunities for Native American students to learn their Native languages, histories, and cultural practices; promote indigenous learning through the use of traditional ecological knowledge; and enhance access to complete and competitive educations that prepare Native American students for college, careers, and productive and satisfying lives.” See the full executive order here.

UPDATE: September 14, 2021

The House Committee on Education and Labor has approved legislation that establishes free community college tuition in participating states, raises the Pell Grant maximum award, supports student success efforts, and increases workforce development investments. The legislation is the committee’s portion of the “Build Back Better Act,” a $3.5 trillion bill that Congressional Democrats are attempting to pass through budget reconciliation, which requires only a simple majority to pass the Senate. The legislation consists largely of proposals made by President Biden in his American Jobs and American Families Plans. The Education and Labor bill constitutes $761 billion of the $3.5 trillion total. Read an analysis from the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) here. (PDF)

UPDATE: September 1, 2021

The Presidents Alliance for Higher Education and Immigration has collected the following resources to aid colleges wishing to support  refugee Afghan students and scholars.

  • Refugee Resettlement Agencies — This contact list (by state) and map note local agencies working with refugees which could be good partners for colleges. This resource list and interactive map (by ZIP code) provide additional suggestions and contact information.
  • Credentials and documentation support for Afghan students — World Education Services (WES) offers support through its Gateway program for assessing credentials, including for students from Afghanistan. Duolingo will waive fees for English language tests for Afghan refugees seeking to enter post-secondary institutions. UC Davis has developed a human-digital ecosystem, the Article 26 Backpack, that provides a way for young people to safely curate, store, share and have evaluated academic documentation and other mobility-related materials (transcripts, diplomas, credentials, written and oral statements, letters of recommendation, etc). See the resource page in English and Dari/Farsi.
  • Support for Afghan students and scholars — Scholars at Risk has a full list of resources. Institute of International Education (IIE) has deployed multiple resources and launched new efforts and New University in Exile Consortium is also connecting artists, students, and scholars with schools. The University Alliance for Refugee & At-Risk Migrants (UARRM) has a resource, Guide for Universities, for institutions that want to expand higher education opportunities for students from a refugee background.
  • Understanding the legal status of Afghan arrivals — Check out these new FAQs on Parole and Beyond for Afghan Nationals (by the Immigrant Rights Clinic at Penn State Law and its partners), as well as the USCIS information page on Afghans nationals on parole into the United States.

UPDATE: August 26, 2021

In support of Afghan student and scholar refugees, The Presidents’ Alliance for Higher Education and Immigration invites colleges to:

  • attend the Higher Ed Afghan Response and Advocacy: Action & Information Briefing on September 9, from 12:00–1:30 p.m. ET, that will highlight what has been happening and what is needed to support Afghan refugee resettlement, including Visas for Afghan students and scholars. 
  • use this template letter to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the U.S. Department of State (DOS) to urge action by various federal agencies which have a variety of tools that they can implement to provide relief to Afghans seeking to come to the U.S. and those currently in the United States.

ATD Leader College of Distinction Northern Virginia Community College is one of several higher education institutions lending support by providing temporary housing and shelter on campus until refugees can be relocated to military or other shelters.

UPDATE: August 16, 2021

Senate activity: Two years of free community college is included in a $3.5 trillion budget resolution passed by Senate Democrats. A $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill that includes important investments to remove lead pipes in school and connect low-income households to the internet has also passed in the Senate.

UPDATE: August 10, 2021

Current State of Play of Immigration Provisions: The Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration reports that the recently released Senate budget resolution contains $107 billion for the Senate Judiciary Committee to allocate for immigration purposes, including a pathway to citizenship. The bill has been officially introduced and the amendment process has started. The resolution may be passed by Thursday, after which the Senate committees will begin drafting the language for the final budget resolution. The Masa Group, We Are Home, and the Immigration Hub will be tracking any immigration-related amendments here.

Per the Presidents' Alliance, “Reconciliation represents the best chance for immigration-related legislation to pass this year. Legalization provisions are especially vital for DACA recipients and undocumented students, alumni and campus community members. Reconciliation also may include Pell grant increases and expanded Pell grant eligibility to DACA recipients and other undocumented students; and, tuition-free community college provisions, also with potential eligibility for DACA recipients and other undocumented students.”

UPDATE: August 5, 2021

An increasing number of states have restricted the ability of colleges and other organizations to deploy an evidence-based combination of strategies to prevent COVID-19 outbreaks on campus and in surrounding communities. This week Achieving the Dream, alongside other national higher education organizations, signed a joint statement from the American College Health Association (ACHA) and the American Council on Education (ACE) that urges all government officials to empower colleges and universities to use every available public health tool to protect campuses and neighboring communities from a COVID-19 surge this fall. Read the full statement.

Expanded college access for incarcerated individuals
The U.S. Department of Education recently announced that it will further expand access to higher education in prison for justice-involved individuals, an effort which includes inviting new educational institutions to participate in the Second Chance Pell experiment. Second Chance Pell invests in students who are incarcerated by allowing approved colleges and universities to support those students through Pell Grant funds. The expansion will bump the number of participating institutions of higher education from 130 to 200. Learn more.

UPDATE: August 4, 2021

The Presidents' Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration and TheDream.US recently held a rapid response briefing on DACA developments — view the recording and resources here. Highlights from the briefing include:

  • The Administration announced it will appeal the July ruling by a Texas court which declared DACA illegal.
  • The ruling places students and campuses and employers and their potential and current employees with DACA in a difficult position, as the durability of their work authorization has been thrown into question; and, in some states, access to in-state tuition is dependent on obtaining DACA.
  • While USCIS has released a new DACA-specific FAQ to clarify the current state of the program, questions remain as to how DACA will function going forward. For now, those with current DACA may keep and renew it, and applications for advance parole and employment will continue to be processed.
  • However, those who have not yet applied for the first time - or who had applied for DACA for the first time but whose applications were not yet approved—are now blocked. Initial DACA applications are subject to an indefinite processing freeze.
  • Remember the Dreamers includes a sample script for contacting Congressional members to push for Dream legislation — supported by ACE and the Presidents’ Alliance. 
  • Higher education leaders may also sign the Presidents’ Alliance letter urging the Senate to pass Dream legislation — whether through bipartisan compromise or reconciliation — in 2021 (sign on and see signatories here).

UPDATE; July 26, 2021

Announced today, "Reengaging the World to Make the United States Stronger at Home: A Renewed U.S. Commitment to International Education" is a joint statement by the Secretaries of the Departments of Education and State that emphasizes the shared commitment of the federal government across agencies to international education, including the importance of international students and scholars to the economy, research, innovation, national security, and more. In this first joint statement in over 20 years, international students and scholars are recognized as critical in promoting cooperation and understanding between nations, and the importance of a comprehensive international student recruitment and retention is emphasized.

UPDATE: July 19, 2021

In response to a decision by a Texas federal judge who declared DACA unlawful and closed the DACA program to future applicants, over 400 CEOs, university presidents and civic leaders have sent a letter to Senators Schumer and McConnell urging them to pass the bipartisan DREAM Act or include it in a budget reconciliation bill.  In addition, business leaders, including several signatories of the letter, will be on Capitol Hill this week to make the case in person for immediate action on providing relief to Dreamers, farm workers and TPS holders.

“We urge the Senate to come together and immediately provide a pathway to citizenship for DACA recipients and DACA-eligible individuals through the passage of the bipartisan DREAM Act, and if necessary, through budget reconciliation. We understand that no bill is perfect, but we believe this existing bipartisan bill is the best framework to protect Dreamers rather than starting over with new legislation,” stated the letter. Read the letter here (PDF). See the full list of signatories here (PDF).

UPDATE July 15, 2021

The U.S. Department of Education has  announced temporary changes to the federal student aid verification process that will make it easier for students to access critical financial aid funds in the coming academic year. Noting concerns about enrollment declines during COVID-19, the Department stated in today’s press release: “Department research shows that targeting verification this aid cycle, can help approximately 200,000 more students from low-income backgrounds and students of color enroll in college and continue on the path to a degree.”

“Verification is an administrative process by which the Department requires a subset of federal student aid applicants who are eligible for Pell Grants to submit additional documentation, such as transcripts of tax returns, to verify their income and other information reported on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. Non-Pell-eligible applicants are not selected for income verification. As a result, the verification process disproportionately burdens students from low-income backgrounds and students of color. The process can be extremely challenging for students, particularly because at least 20 percent of Pell-eligible applicants are exempt from tax filing due to their low-income levels. This prevents them from using the automated Data Retrieval Tool to easily import verified income data from the IRS onto their FAFSA form, and can impose difficulties in acquiring the necessary documentation to prove their income.”

The full press release may be found here.

update: june 15, 2021

Today is the ninth anniversary of the passing of DACA. The Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration suggests several ways colleges can use the anniversary to promote the importance of DACA:

  1. Commemorate via Social Media or a Statement. Consider highlighting the anniversary and the importance of DACA through your campus’s social media channels.
  2. Press Statement. Consider issuing a press statement with a quote from your President or Chancellor on the anniversary date (June 15th) commemorating the anniversary and speaking to the importance of DACA and DACA recipients. Please send statements to so we can highlight through our social media! You can also see the Presidents' Alliance statement here.
  3. Join 200+ Higher Ed Leaders on Letter. The Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration partnered with ABIC to lead a sign-on letter in support of Dreamers in preparation of a decision from the Fifth Circuit on the fate and future of DACA. The letter is open to Presidents and Chancellors of higher education institutions; and you can see a highlight of a few of the signatories and how to sign on here. The deadline is rolling but we encourage Presidents and Chancellors to sign on if they are supportive of the letter and its content.
  4. Send a Letter of Support for Dream Legislation. Congress is currently debating immigration reform legislation; consider weighing in and contacting your Member of Congress by phone or with a letter of support for Dream-related legislation. For sample letters, see our template letter in support of the 2021 Senate Dream Act and template letter in support of the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021, as well as the Steering Committee letters in support of the 2021 Dream Act and Dream and Promise Act. For information on undocumented students in your state, see the Higher Ed Immigration Portal. If you need help identifying the staffer that handles information for your House or Senate office or other kinds of support, send us an email at and we can help.
  5. Meet with Undocumented/DACAmented Students. Consider meeting with undocumented and DACA members of your community, including holding a forum, learning more about the obstacles they face, and taking the opportunity to directly communicate with affected community members that your institution continues to support them.

In other related news:

  • The Presidents’ Alliance has developed a toolkit for higher education institutions to help support DACA recipients and other undocumented students. The toolkit includes a template letter for institutions to call on Congress to pass the Dream Act of 2021 to protect DACA recipients and other Dreamers. The toolkit also includes information and templates for higher education institutions in the event of a negative court decision on DACA, including template public statements, op-eds to the editor, and social media
  • A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for DACA is expected in August. Under this publication, DHS is expected to separate the deferred action and employment authorization components of DACA into two separate processes, which should result in lower costs for DACA renewal.
  • The Senate Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing on the Dream and Promise Act of 2021 on the anniversary of DACA today, Tuesday June 15, 2021 at 10 am ET. The committee says the hearing will “highlight the need for the Senate to take up the House-passed legislation and provide a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers and Temporary Protected Status recipients.”

UPDATE: May 11, 2021

DACA recipients and other undocumented and international students will qualify  for emergency financial grants from higher ed institutions receiving funds from the  $356B included in the American Rescue Plan. The U.S. Department of Education released  updated FAQs (see Q.8) that make clear that "all students who are or were enrolled in an institution of higher education during the COVID-19 national emergency are eligible for emergency financial grants from the HEERF" regardless of their immigration status.” The updated FAQs reflect the Department's new final rule on student eligibility that reverses the previous policy.

UPDATE: April 28, 2021

President Biden Proposes Free Community College: President Biden’s American Families Plan includes $109 billion to make two years of community college education free, $80 billion to increase the maximum Pell Grant by $1,400, $62 billion for retention and completion programs at colleges that serve large numbers of low-income students, and $39 billion to subsidize tuition at historically black and other minority-serving colleges and universities. Read more from Inside Higher Ed about the president's plan here.

Update: April 27, 2021

From Inside Higher Ed

“The federal Student and Exchange Visitor Program announced Monday that is extending its current guidance on online learning and international students for the 2021-22 academic year.

“The guidance, which cites pandemic-related public health concerns, allows international students continued flexibility to enroll in online classes by suspending a rule that typically limits them to counting just one online class per term toward the requirement that they maintain a full-time course of study.

“The guidance also prohibits new international students who were not enrolled as of March 9, 2020, from coming to the U.S. if they plan to enroll in a fully online course of study. New students can come to the U.S. to take hybrid programs that include an in-person learning component, however.”

UPDATE: April 16, 2021

The Council on Foundations reports: “The Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs subcommittee on Economic Policy heard from witnesses about the student debt crisis’s contribution to wealth inequality. Witnesses testified that, while student debt has negatively impacted social mobility and broadened the racial wealth gap, solutions to the crisis remain unclear, particularly due to the cost of student loan forgiveness.”

update: april 14, 2021

Education Department Funding and Pell Grants – President Biden’s proposed discretionary budget for FY 2022 includes proposals to increase funding for the U.S. Education Department to $102.8 billion, a 41 percent increase over FY 2021, and to increase the Pell Grant maximum by $400. The Pell increase would bring the maximum grant size to $6,895 and may be a first step toward doubling the size of the grants. The proposal would also make Pell Grants available to DACA recipients.

Joint Statement to Double Pell:  Achieving the Dream joined a long list of national organizations, universities, and colleges in signing a March 25  letter to Congress urging a doubling of the maximum size of Pell grants. Part of the text of the letter was as follows: “This long overdue investment will drive economic recovery, help address racial and economic inequities in college completion rates, and increase overall educational attainment…Pell Grants are especially critical for students of color, with nearly 60 percent of Black students, half of American Indian or Alaska Native students, and nearly half of Latinx students receiving a Pell Grant each year. However, the share of college costs covered by the grant is at an all-time low. At its peak, the maximum grant covered three-quarters of the cost of attending a four-year public college. Now, it covers less than one-third of that cost...Doubling the maximum Pell Grant — and permanently indexing the grant to inflation to ensure its value doesn’t diminish over time — will boost college enrollment, improve graduation rates, and honor the history and value of these grants as the keystone federal investment in college affordability.”  Read the full letter here.

Joint Statement on College Promise –Achieving the Dream is one of several signatories on a statement promoting a National Promise that would make college as universal, accessible, and affordable as high school has been in the U.S. for more than a century. Part of the statement notes: “If America is to remain competitive in the global marketplace, pathways to economic and social mobility are critical to a fulsome national recovery. America must take bold steps to bolster its position in the world. The pace of change in the knowledge economy affecting the American workforce makes a high school education no longer enough to build the knowledge and skills required for long-term career success now or in the future. One hundred years ago, we made high school education universally accessible. Today, we must position our country to meet the demands of a new era by making a College Promise for All.”  Additional signatories are invited to sign the statement by going here.

UPDATE March 22, 2021

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed the American Dream and Promise Act, H.R. 6, which would establish a roadmap to citizenship for Dreamers, TPS holders, and DED recipients – an estimated 4.4 million undocumented immigrants. The bill includes provisions that would expand federal financial assistance, provide relief to immigrant students with temporary immigration status, and repeal barriers to states wishing to offer in-state tuition to immigrant students. If passed by the Senate, the legislation would open the door to greater assistance to the over 427,000 undocumented students enrolled in higher education, including 181,000 DACA-eligible students.

UPDATE: March 17, 2021

The following resources shared by Bunker Hill Community College may be helpful in supporting and advocating for Asian American and other students experiencing discrimination, crime, and crisis.

UPDATE: March 3, 2021

The Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration the Alliance and several of their partners have launched a one-stop digital resource with navigable state and federal data and information about DACA, undocumented, other immigrant, international, and refugee students. Included are student data, analysis of state policies, an interactive map and data tools, leading policy research, effective practices in higher education, and student narratives and strategic messaging. 

UPDATE: February 26, 2021

The House has passed the Equality Act  which would amend federal civil rights laws to ensure protections for LGBTQ Americans in employment, education, housing, credit, jury service and other areas.

The Washington Post noted:

“The Equality Act has been a pillar of the LGBTQ civil rights movement since similar legislation was first discussed after the Stonewall riots in 1969. Democratic Rep. Bella Abzug of New York was the main sponsor of the Equality Act in 1974; other prominent supporters of the legislation included Rep. Ed Koch (D-N.Y.)."

“In the ensuing decades, public opinion has shifted dramatically toward support of such protections. More than 8 in 10 Americans favor laws that would protect LGBTQ people against discrimination in jobs, public accommodations and housing, according to a 2020 Public Religion Research Institute American Values Survey."

“More than 21 states have passed laws explicitly prohibiting discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations or other realms. But the patchwork of laws leaves large gaps in LGBTQ protections.”

Passage in the Senate is expected to be difficult since the measure would require 60 votes across partisan lines.


UPDATE: February 25

This national legislative agenda was released by AACC and ACCT at their recent National Legislative Summit.

UPDATE: February 18

The House and Senate have introduced their versions of the U.S. Citizenship Act which contains crucial higher education priorities, especially as they impact immigrant students, including DACA recipients, other Dreamers, TPS holders, and their families. The bill also sends a much-needed welcome signal to our international students, scholars, and alumni.

Read the Senate version of the legislation here and the House version here.

UPDATE:  February 12

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) have introduced the bipartisan Dream Act of 2021 which is identical to the previous versions and provides a roadmap to citizenship for certain immigrants who entered the U.S. as children. Andy J. Semotiuk of Forbes predicts that it will be a challenge to get through the “legislative traffic jam” of impeachment hearings, pandemic legislation, and economic debates.

An Educator’s Guide to Biden’s New Immigration Law by the Presidents’ Alliance, Overview of President Biden's Immigration Reform Legislation in Regards to Higher Education and Student Immigrants, outlines the implications of Biden’s proposed U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021. Important pieces to highlight include: (a) roadmap to citizenship for undocumented immigrants; (b) easier access to green cards, employment visas, and family visas; and (c) the blanket elimination of the term “alien” from immigration law.

UPDATE:  February 3 ,2021

The Black Alliance for Just Immigration will offer a webinar series through the month of February covering gender, mental health, collaboration, accessibility, and art in social justice. Modern immigration shapes the Black experience in higher education as well; 24 percent of all Black students in higher education are first or second generation immigrants.

UPDATE: January 27, 2021

How Biden's immigration plan would affect colleges by Natalie Schwartz (Higher Ed Dive).

UPDATE: January 15, 2021

Federal Aid to Higher Education

  • As part of the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA), the Education Department has announced that $20.5 Billion will be provided to nonprofit colleges and universities, based on a formula that uses institutional enrollment levels with emphasis on Pell Grant recipients institutional allocations and related guidance. The Education Department’s website describes how the funds can be used including for student emergency aid.
  • President Elect Joe Biden’s “American Rescue Plan” would allocate $35 billion to institutions and students, as well as $5 billion to a governor’s fund that could be used for either higher ed or PreK-12.

UPDATE:  January 12, 2021  

Webinar re: What the Biden Administration Means for Higher Education
Interested parties are invited to participate in a free webinar sponsored by ACE and Engage.  ACE Senior Vice President Terry W. Hartle and Director of Government Relations Jon Fansmith will discuss the impact of the early days of the new administration and Congress on higher education and a range of issues, from immigration to COVID-19 relief. Speakers will take audience questions throughout the conversation as part of this Public Policy Pop-Up. Register here.

UPDATE January 6, 2021

Higher Education Organizations Make Recommendations to the New Administration
The Presidents' Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration has collaborated with TheDream.US to outline 17 recommendations to the Biden Administration on how to revise DACA: Letter to President-Elect Biden and Secretary-Designate Mayorkas with DACA Recommendations. The recommendations touch on eligibility, parole, emergency grants, health care, employment, and more.

Other higher education organizations have also offered numerous recommendations on a variety of higher education issues:

Update: December 7, 2020

DACA Reinstated Temporarily
On Friday U.S. District Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis ordered the Administration to restore DACA to the form it took prior to September 5, 2017, paving the way for new applications and renewal of current  DACA status. The judge also ordered that deferred action and employment authorization documents ('EADs') granted for only one year are to be extended to two years, in line with previous policy. 646,000 people currently have DACA and the think tank Migration Policy Institute estimates that an additional 685,000 meet the criteria to apply.

While Joe Biden has said he would restore DACA during his administration, two court actions may be decided before Inauguration. The first is a likely appeal on the case just ruled on by Judge Garaufis. The second is a case in the Fifth Circuit of Texas that threatens DACA as the court is expected to rule against continuance.

The upshot of these legal manuevers is that current and future DACA residents continue to have an uncertain future. The Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration recommends that individuals who currently hold DACA should consider renewing at 150 days before the expiration of their current DACA. Individuals who are considering applying for DACA for the first time should consider seeking legal assistance to discuss their eligibility and potentially have an attorney or representative assist them in preparation of their application. Individuals should also begin to save up funds for the application fee.

Update: December 3, 2020

Inside Higher Ed reports that a federal judge has struck down Visa rules put in place by the Trump Administration
A federal judge on Tuesday set aside two Trump administration rules that narrowed eligibility for H-1B skilled worker visas and substantially increased wages for many H-1B holders. Colleges joined with businesses in suing to roll back the rules, which the Trump administration promulgated without normal notice-and-comment procedures, citing emergency circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic. U.S. District Judge Jeffrey S. White ruled that the government failed to demonstrate that the rise in domestic unemployment caused by the COVID pandemic justified skipping normal rule-making processes, concluding that the administration “failed to show there was good cause to dispense with the rational and thoughtful discourse that is provided by the APA's [Administrative Procedures Act's] notice and comment requirements.”

Update: December 2, 2020

The Presidents' Alliance for Higher Education and Immigration has complied this list of higher education-immigration related plans and statements from the Biden campaign platform as a potential predictor of actions to come during the new Administration President-elect Joe Biden’s Platform and Statements on Higher Education and Immigration. Key highlights include promises to reinstate DACA and restore emergency financial grants under the CARES Act for undocumented students; and the repeal of the Trump Administration’s Travel Ban 3.0, which targets individuals from Muslim-majority countries.

The Alliance has also posted their wish list for executive and administrative priorities here

Other higher education associations have called for some of the same changes. Most have expressed support for reinstating DACA and protecting Dreamers. Other recommendations include calls to “overturn harmful visa and immigration policies,” and “create a direct path to lawful permanent residence (green card) for international graduates of U.S. colleges and universities” (NAFSA); “authoriz(e) states to make Dreamers eligible for in-state tuition, occupational licensure,” and “provid(e) international students ‘dual intent’ so they “do not have to needlessly establish” that they have no long-term interest in contributing to the U.S.”(APLU); and “withdraw the proposed regulations that would limit an international student’s ‘duration of status’ and create a fixed duration of admission” (ACE).

UPDATE October 15, 2020

A New Resource from the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration indicates that more than 5.3 million immigrant-origin students are enrolled in US colleges and universities – nearly 30 percent of all students in higher education. The report’s findings reveal the growing proportion of first and second generation immigrant students in postsecondary education, the diversity of these students, and  their importance for future U.S. labor growth. Review the full report here.

Among the report’s key findings:

  • The United States is home to 5.3 million immigrant-origin students enrolled in U.S. higher education institutions. First-generation immigrants, individuals born abroad who immigrated to the U.S, account for 1.7 million students. Second-generation immigrants, persons born in the U.S. to one or more immigrants parents, account for 3.6 million students.
  • The proportion of immigrant-origin students as a share of all students in higher education in the United States was 28% in 2018, up from 20% in 2000. Immigrant-origin students accounted for 60% of the increase in all post-secondary education students between 2000 to 2018. 
  • Immigrant-origin students are a heterogeneous population. The report finds that 63% of Latinx/Hispanic students are first- or second-generation immigrants, as are 85% of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) students and  24% of Black students.
  • In nine states, immigrant-origin students make up more than 30% of all students in higher education  (CA, FL, HI, MA, NJ, NV, NY, TX, WA). There are 32 states with at least 20,000 immigrant-origin students in higher education.
  • First-generation immigrant students are more likely to pursue graduate or professional degrees than second- or third-generation immigrant students.
  • This estimate of first-generation immigrant students does not include (F-1) international students, estimated in 2018 at approximately 5.5% of all students in higher education. With international students, immigrant origin and foreign-born students in higher education constituted a third of all postsecondary students in 2018.

UPDATE: August 26

New DACA restrictions:  This week Immigration Services released new guidance announcing that the Immigration Service will reject all applications submitted more than 150 days before the expiration of a current DACA grant. Especially when processing delays are becoming more common, five months is not likely sufficient time for the agency to adjudicate and process applications, and DACA recipients may experience lapses in status and employment authorization, termination from employment, and interruptions in access to higher education.

The new statement reiterates earlier guidelines from the Department of Homeland Security that restrict grants to one year. A brief on those guidelines prepared by the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration may be found here Stealth Rescission: An Analysis of the Impact of the Secretary’s July 2020 Memorandum on DACA. Last week California went back to court to challenge these restrictions, claiming a violation of court orders from the Supreme Court and a Maryland federal court.

UPDATE August 24

Rebuilding America’s Middle Class, a coalition of community colleges, has sent this letter to Congress to urge Federal policymakers to ensure that future higher education funding related to COVID-19 relief is distributed using a total headcount formula.

UPDATE August 12, 2020

The Immigrant Legal Resource Center has released a DACA Supreme Court Case Summary & Practice Update and a DACA FAQ to help DACA recipients and service providers navigate the changes of the past year.

UPDATE August 5, 2020

Higher application fees: The Department of Homeland Security has issued its new fee schedule which raises fees across most immigration benefits including applications for Optional Practical Training and for Naturalization by about 20 percent. The schedule does not raise fees for DACA applications, but a recent memorandum limiting renewals to one-year practically doubles the cost to apply. The final rule is effective Oct. 2, 2020. In justifying the increase, the Department noted that it depends primarily on these fees to cover the cost of processing applications. For more information, see New USCIS Immigration Fees Hit Businesses, Citizens And Students by Stuart Anderson and NAFSA's useful chart highlighting fees impacting higher ed.


UPDATE July 27, 2020

Limited clarification has come from immigration officials regarding the eligibility of new international students to enroll in programs that are 100 percent online this Fall. The new guidance seems to allow new students to enroll in hybrid programs that include one or more face to face classes and suggests that new students will not be deported should their institutions switch from an in-person or hybrid mode to an online-only mode in the middle of the term due to the pandemic. Advocacy groups are asking for further clarifications.

UPDATE July 22, 2020

  • DACA:  A Maryland federal court has ordered U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to accept new DACA applications and advance parole applications, in accordance with the Supreme Court’s DACA decision in June. Meanwhile, rumors continue that an Executive Order may be forthcoming regarding DACA and other immigration policies.
  • Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Bill:  The House has marked up an appropriations bill that includes funding for Homeland Security. A proposed amendment would prohibit use of funds to deport DACA and TPS-eligible individuals. Another amendment would confirm that international students may engage in all online classes due to the pandemic while maintaining their F-1 status and permit new international students to enter the U.S. for Fall courses. These amendments may not end up in the final version of a Senate-House bill, but their inclusion is seen as a positive development.
  • Executive Order: On Monday the President signed an Executive Order, Memorandum on Excluding Illegal Aliens From the Apportionment Base Following the 2020 Census, which seeks to exclude undocumented immigrants from the 2020 Census. Such an action would negatively affect states like California, Texas, and Georgia which have higher immigrant populations.  The order will likely be challenged in the courts.

UPDATE July 14, 2020

The federal government has withdrawn the latest rules from DHS and ICE that would require international students to leave the U.S. or transfer schools if their college or university holds only online classes this fall. Numerous lawsuits filed by higher education institutions plus massive letter writing campaigns to Congress and Homeland Security are believed to have persuaded the Administration to rescind the July 6 guidelines.

update july 13, 2020

Achieving the Dream has joined the American Council on Education, the American Association of Community Colleges, and 78 other higher education organizations in signing a letter imploring the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to withdraw the July 6 directive that threatens deportation for international students if they are not taking in-person classes this fall. We proposed that DHS, instead, grant a one-year waiver for international students who have a valid F-1 or M-1 visa and are enrolled or entering the U.S. to begin a course of study on a full-time basis in an academic program that is conducted online or may shift to remote instruction during the semester due to the pandemic. ATD is encouraging Achieving the Dream colleges to sign the institution letter by July 15.

UPDATE July 8, 2020

Deep and growing concerns have surfaced in reaction to Homeland Security’s announcement that they will soon issue guidelines threatening deportation for international students if their classes this Fall are all on-line. Achieving the Dream sent to the ATD Network this message on ICE's lack of regard for international students.

The American Council on Education circulated an editorial from the Washington Post that strongly condemned the announcement and acknowledged the efforts colleges and universities have taken ‘”to devise plans to operate safely in the fall.”  A number of  ATD colleges have multi-million dollar investments in international students who are an abiding part of the community. President Mosby of Highline Community College released this message today to his international students.

Two  webinars on Friday, July 10, 2020 will focus on the new guidelines and their potential impact:

  • American Council on Education/ NAFSA Briefing: 11:00 am -12:00 pm ET, ACE President Ted Mitchell and Terry Hartle, ACE senior vice president, along with Jill Allen Murray, deputy executive director at NAFSA: Association of International Educators, will provide an overview via Zoom of the guidance and its impact on fall 2020, and outline potential community advocacy actions in response. 
  • Presidents Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration will host a Rapid Response Briefing: ICE's SEVP Guidance for International Students and Higher Education webinar, on Friday, July 10, 2020 at 2pm ET. Speakers will explain what is known and not known about the new guidance, share crucial campus and student perspectives, and discuss potential litigation and advocacy opportunities. Resources will be provided.

Additional new resources include:

UPDATE July 7, 2020

The Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration has condemned an ICE policy that would ban international students from on-line only courses this fall, citing negative impact on international student educational attainment, harm to the nation’s ability to attract and retain international talent, and add financial strain to college and university budgets.  See press release here.

UPDATE July 6, 2020

July 17 is the deadline for submitting comments to the U.S. Department of Education re: excluding DACA recipients and undocumented students from the emergency financial grants under the CARES Act.

Three organizations – TheDream.US, Community College Consortium for Immigrant Education, and the Presidents’ Alliance for Higher Education and Immigration have created a template to use -- Higher Education Template Comment for CARES Act Emergency Grant Exclusions and an easy-to-use summary of all the key points contained in the template:

  • “DOE has not considered the economic and non-economic costs of excluding students from access to emergency financial aid during a national pandemic crisis and in the midst of soaring unemployment rates.
  • “Many undocumented and DACA students not eligible for Title IV assistance are among those with the greatest need and face unique challenges. Many of these students and their families do not have health insurance, suffer disproportionate health effects as a result of the pandemic, and struggle in the face of increasing unemployment and meeting basic needs.
  • “The interim final rule would undermine institutions’ commitments to diversity and equity, making the playing field more uneven and harder for institutions to meet their educational and moral obligations to students of color, low-income students, undocumented students, and otherwise-marginalized students.”

Why Submit an Institutional Comment? Your comments will help build an administrative record for the problematic nature of this rule and support ongoing and future litigation. Federal law requires that the Department read, review, and consider all comment letters. The Department specifically invites public comments and states that it will “consider these comments in determining whether to revise the rule.”


update #2 june 18

In response to today’s Supreme Court decision, the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration has released the following talking points which can be used by college leaders as they explain the impact of the decision on their students and community and when speaking to the media.

update #1 june 18

ATD Statement on the U.S. Supreme Court Decision Regarding DACA
Today’s Supreme Court decision on the Deferred Action of Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is a victory for hundreds of thousands of Dreamers, undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children. More than 450,000 of the 700,000 Dreamers are college students who are serving their communities in countless ways. Many are now on the frontlines of the COVID-19 response, as essential workers. Thousands of graduates are among the 29,000 health care workers responding to this pandemic. Dreamers are an essential part of the community college story – and today’s decision is an important step in the right direction. Achieving the Dream looks forward to working with colleague members of the Washington Higher Education Secretariat to advance a permanent solution that will allow Dreamers to continue their education, contribute to our society, and have their shot at the American dream.

Update June 15

Today is the 8th anniversary of DACA. Between now and July 4th, the Supreme Court is expected to rule on the fate of the program implemented to shield undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children. The Supreme Court could overturn the protections for “Dreamers” immediately, phase DACA out over time, or require additional regulatory steps from the Administration.

Politico reports that in a recent CBS poll, 85 percent of respondents support allowing immigrants brought to the U.S. as children to stay, including 73 percent of Republicans. But the Court ruling could result in the deportation of 700,000 Dreamers, 27,000 of whom are estimated to be nurses and other health care providers.

DACA could also be protected through legislation by Congress, but with a busy legislative calendar already and the Administration previously tying DACA to full immigration policy reform, action by Congress this year would be difficult. Some DACA supporters hope that if the court sends the issue back to Congress to fix with a deadline, it could force party leaders to come to the table.

ATD frequently draws from two websites to update this webpage.  Both have excellent resources for community college leaders wishing to keep abreast of policy developments or find tools for advocacy:

The Presidents' Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration

American Council on Education Remember the Dreamers:

Update June 3, 2020

June 18 is the deadline for DACA recipients to apply for a year-long Roddenbery Fellowship that offers $50,000 and one-on-one professional coaching for fellows to conduct local, state, or federal advocacy or public interest work.  Questions about the fellowship may be directed to

The Fellowship is one of the financial aid options for undocumented students listed in a new consolidated resource from the Presidents’ Alliance for Higher Education and Immigration.

My Undocumented Life: Info and Resources for Undocumented Students and Families, a grassroots resource for undocumented immigrants by undocumented immigrants, has released a consolidated resource page specific to today’s challenges, from awaiting a DACA decision from the Supreme Court to participating in protests during a pandemic.

UPDATE May 29, 2020

HEFAS, the undocumented student group at De Anza College, a community college in the California Bay Area, is hosting their annual summit on Friday June 5th from 10:30am to 12:30pm PT and Sunday June 7th from 12pm to 2pm PT. They will be leading the event with keynote speaker Favianna Rodriguez, an artist who advocates for immigrant rights, and several workshops on topics such as caring for our health during Covid-19. Blog post and event registration here.

UPDATE May 11, 2020

Additional Resources

  • In anticipation of a Supreme Court ruling regarding DACA in June, fifteen higher education organizations under the leadership of the American Council on Education are supporting a new website Remember the Dreamers website to share Dreamer stories and resources and tools that colleges and universities can use to advocate for DACA students.
  • Another website with many tools and resources that ATD has highlighted on this ATD Policy Action webpage is hosted by the Presidents’ Alliance for Higher Education and Immigration.  Their DACA-related materials are located here: Directory of Presidents’ Alliance Documents to Support Higher Ed Institutions Prepare for SCOTUS DACA Decision.
  • Dreamer Unity Statement. Over 300 education leaders have signed onto a unity statement to proactively prepare for the possibility of a negative Supreme Court decision in the coming weeks. The statement calls upon the administration to continue accepting DACA renewals and refrain from deporting Dreamers while Congress works toward a more permanent solution. The statement remains upon, likely until Wednesday, May 13, 2020 COB, for Presidents and Chancellors to sign on and you can sign-on here.

Update April 22, 2020

DACA students are not eligible for emergency stimulus funds provided by Congress, reports Inside Higher Ed.

UPDATE April 21, 2020

This episode, A College at the Crossroads of COVID-19 and DACA,features Carrie Hauser, president of Colorado Mountain College, who speaks about how her college has responded to COVID-19 and adapted its unique, interest-free income share agreement for DACA students.

UPDATE April 16, 2020

New American Economy and the Presidents’ Alliance on Immigration and Higher Education have released an analysis of the number of undocumented students pursuing higher education in the U.S.: Undocumented Students in Higher Education: How Many Students are in U.S. Colleges and Universities, and Who Are They?

More than 450,000 undocumented students were enrolled in postsecondary education, representing two percent of all postsecondary students. Of these students, 216,000 are DACA-eligible (they either hold DACA or would have been eligible for DACA). The report includes the states with the largest number of enrollments, demographic profile of undocumented students, enrollment in public vs. private institutions, and undergraduate and graduate-level enrollment. Download the report and view the press release.

Update April 13, 2020

Diverse Issues in Higher Education article points out the financial and emotional stress endured by DACA students including many who are now frontline medical workers.

Update April 9, 2020

Several organizations, including the Presidents’ Alliance on Immigration and Higher Education, are preparing for the possibility that the Supreme Court may rule to allow the Administration to end DACA. The organizations are calling upon a broad coalition of education leaders, state and local elected officials, business leaders, law enforcement professionals, national security experts, and faith, labor, education, healthcare, and civic leaders to add their names to a sign-on statement calling upon the administration to continue accepting DACA renewals and refrain from deporting Dreamers while Congress works toward a more permanent solution. The deadline to sign the statement is Friday April 17,2020. The statement would only be released if the ruling goes against DACA.

The Presidents’ Alliance has identified a list of COVID-19 related reads including A Demographic Profile of DACA Recipients on the Frontlines of the Coronavirus Response by the Center for American Progress  which reports that 200,000 DACA recipients are on the frontline of responding to COVID-19.

The additional reads include:
What We Know About the Demographic and Economic Impacts of DACA Recipients: Spring 2020 Edition by By Nicole Prchal Svajlenka and Philip E. Wolgin
There’s Only One Thing Stopping Trump From Deporting Health Care Workers by Bill Aseltyne, Beth Essig, Debra L. Zumwalt and Abbe R. Gluck
Immigration Can Save Lives During America's COVID-19 Crisis by Stuart Anderson
Two Ways Congress and DHS Can Protect DACA Recipients on the COVID-19 Frontlines by Kristie De Peña and Matthew La Corte
It’s not just undocumented immigrants who could be left out of the stimulus money by Andy Uhler
Undocumented workers among those hit first — and worst — by the coronavirus shutdown by Tracy Jan
As U.S. Health-Care System Buckles under Pandemic, Immigrant & Refugee Professionals Could Represent a Critical Resource by Jeanne Batalova and Michael Fix
AILA seeks maintenance of status for non-immigrants in U.S, files lawsuit against USCIS by Indica News

Update April 2, 2020

While the Supreme Court is expected to issue a decision on the pending DACA case this month or next, advocates are calling on the Court to delay its decision, particularly in light of the impact on DACA recipients who work in the healthcare field. Two resources for colleges interested in joining the advocacy and also preparing for the eventual decision are:

The Presidents’ Alliance has also released a new Template State Delegation Letter for Higher Ed Institutions to Support DACA Recipients which colleges can use before or after the Supreme Court decision on DACA, to draft and send a letter to their state's congressional delegation with recommendations on how to support DACA recipients including in the context of COVID-19.

A recording along with resource material shared during a March 27 COVID-19 webinar hosted by the Presidents’ Alliance and NAFSA  can be found on the Alliance’s website. A summary of the issues discussed on the webinar can be found in this article.

Update March 4, 2020

Two new resources from the Presidents’ Alliance for Higher Education and Immigration are now available:

Campus Checklist. The Campus Checklist to Prepare for a Supreme Court DACA Decision outlines the top five ways campuses can prepare for the Supreme Court’s forthcoming decision on DACA and support undocumented students in the coming months.  

FAQ for Enforcement on Campuses. FAQs for Campuses on Immigration Enforcement and Site Visits outline best practices for campuses in regards to campus immigration enforcement. The newest version of this resource contains updates regarding FERPA protections, state-based sanctuary legislation, site visits, and how to prepare your campus.

Update january 27, 2020

California Creates $10 Million Pilot to provide Legal Services for Undocumented Students

Sixty-five community colleges in California expect to receive funding to offer free legal services to undocumented students. Called the Community College Immigration Legal Services Project, resources and services are expected to be offered to students as well as faculty and staff.  

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 15percent of active DACA recipients are between the ages of 16-20, and another 66 percent 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:

UPDATE 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.

UPDATE 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

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