Supporting Undocumented Students

UC San Diego students serve as hosts at an information table

Learn about undocumented students at UC San Diego, and how best to support them.

Defining the Population

Students who entered the United States without a lawful status or who entered lawfully but overstayed their visas (student visa, tourist visa, etc.).

Statistics

Nationally

  • Country of Origin
    • Mexico: 6.2 million
    • Guatemala: 723,000
    • El Salvador: 465,000
    • Honduras: 337,000
    • China: 268,000
    • India: 267,000
    • Korea: 198,000
    • Other countries: 2.1 million
  • Eligible for DACA
    • 9 million eligible (of total undocumented population)
    • 3 million eligible immediately
    • ~398,000 eligible for education purposes
    • ~800,000 current recipients
  • DACA Eligible Populations, Top 5 Countries
    • Mexico: 1.2 million
    • Guatemala: 100,000
    • El Salvador: 62,000
    • Korea: 52,000
    • Honduras: 43,000

Systemwide

  • Country of Origin (data not available)

  • Population size by campus, based on Dream Act Applications 2016–2017
    • Los Angeles: 716
    • Irvine: 648
    • Berkeley: 557
    • Davis: 489
    • Riverside: 469
    • Santa Cruz: 445
    • Merced: 375
    • Santa Barbara: 334
  • First Year/ Transfer (data not available)

UC San Diego

  • Estimated number of students for academic year 2017–2018: ~363
  • Countries of Origin
    • Canada, China, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Peru, Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Argentina, Belize, Colombia, Egypt, Guatemala, Indonesia, Iran, and Vietnam
  • College
    • 15% Marshall College
    • 24% Muir College
    • 17% Revelle College
    • 12% Roosevelt College
    • 16% Sixth College
    • 16% Warren College
  • First Year/ Transfer
    • 23% enrolled as first-year students
    • 77% enrolled as transfer students
  • First in immediate family to attend college
    • 60% Yes
    • 405 No
  • Eligible for DACA, TPS or other form of immigration relief
    • 84% Yes
    • 16% No

Challenges/ obstacles faced by these students
as a result of their immigration status

  • Securing employment/ internship positions on and off UC San Diego campus (either no work authorization or lack of citizen status)
  • Securing scholarships/ grants/ financial aid from UC San Diego
  • Studying abroad
  • Having access to mental health services
  • Finding spaces where they feel welcomed
  • Finding programs that offer support for undocumented students
  • Identifying as undocumented

Best Practices to Support Undocumented Students

  • Learn the appropriate language/ terminology (i.e. illegal vs. undocumented, sanctuary, etc.).
  • Familiarize yourself with state, federal, and campus policies:
  • Reaffirm support/ confidentiality for students to feel secure sharing their status.
  • Exercise flexibility:
    • Undocumented students find themselves in situations that are out of their control, such as immigration appointments that may require them to skip school or class assignments. View this group of students with a similar lens we view students in the military — there are events out of their control that they need to tend to.

Resources: Articles, Professional Associations & Other Links

Recent Chronicle of Higher Ed / Insider Higher Ed articles

Professional associations

UC system

White papers / fact sheets