National Immigration Law Center
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Our mission is to defend & advance the rights & opportunities of low-income immigrants and their family members.

Toolkit | Access to Postsecondary Education


Student Profiles

A PORTION OF UNDOCUMENTED immigrants are children and young adults who were brought to the U.S. at a young age. Many of these youth have lived most of their lives in communities in the U.S. and have attended U.S. schools. Like their U.S. citizen peers, they embrace American culture and values. Their commitment to these values is demonstrated in the drive and self-sufficiency that allowed them to achieve academic success in spite of the challenges associated with their socioeconomic characteristics. In seeking to pay in-state tuition rates, these youth seek a fair opportunity to pursue and realize their full potential. Like their peers, they wish to fulfill their American Dream.

DREAM Activist, “Our Stories”

This website contains an online archive of print and video personal stories by immigrant youth from various countries. In telling their stories, these young men and women discuss the circumstances that brought them and their families to the U.S. and that led to their undocumented immigrant status. They reveal the emotional and economic struggles they must cope with as undocumented immigrant students pursuing a higher education. These youth also share their educational achievements and dreams for the future.

We ARE Americans’ Profiles Undocumented Students (National Public Radio, August 22, 2009).

Guy Raz, host of National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered,” interviews Nora Preciado, National Immigration Law Center staff attorney, and William Perez, associate professor of education at Claremont Graduate University and author of the book We ARE Americans. Nora, one of twenty students featured in the book, recounts her journey from undocumented immigrant student to immigration attorney. Professor Perez, who surveyed 180 students with stories like Nora’s for his book, discusses the roadblocks these students face as they attempt to pursue a higher education.

Additional links to video and print student profiles and Congressional testimony are available on the National Immigration Law Center’s website.