In Their Own Words: Higher Education, DACA and TPS

Jose Magaña-Salgado, et al.
Date of Publication: 
October, 2018
Source Organization: 

Despite considerable challenges, many immigrant students in the United States are attending college and achieving advanced degrees. In Their Own Words: Higher Education, DACA, and TPS, published by TheDream.Us, a nonprofit organization that awards scholarships to undocumented immigrant students who are eligible for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) or Temporary Protected Status (TPS), presents the findings of a national survey of 1,400 of those students looking at their education, employment and quality of life under tenuous immigration statuses and uncertain futures in the U.S. Among the findings, 71 percent of students surveyed were employed, and almost one-third worked full-time while attending college. Nearly all students reported that acquiring a college degree was very important to them, and 66 percent of students were preparing for an occupation that requires a professional license such as a doctor or engineer. This is notable because federal law prohibits states from issuing professional licenses to immigrants lacking legal status, unless authorized under state law. Students also cited the importance of receiving a driver’s license through their DACA or TPS status. Many students expressed anxiety at the prospect of losing protected immigration status citing concerns over childcare and food security. Given the positive effect the protections have had on these scholars’ lives, the report recommends that policymakers make DACA and TPS protections permanent to allow immigrant students to receive in-state tuition and qualify for financial aid, and to allow employers to retain these workers on their payrolls. (Deb D'Anastasio for The Immigrant Learning Center's Public Education Institute)

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Magaña-Salgado, J., et al. (2018). In Their Own Words: Higher Education, DACA and TPS. Retrieved from