Skip to main content

Fostering Inclusivity and Support for Undocumented and Mixed Status Families in Texas

By: ImmSchools   |   January 2024

As college access practitioners, we need to create and foster a safe environment for undocumented students and mixed-status families from the moment schools start and maintain this as priority throughout the year. In this blog Immschools, highlights how to foster safe and inclusive school environments for undocumented and mixed-status students and families.

1 out of 8 students in Texas is undocumented or has at least one undocumented parent. In the realm of education, the silent struggle of undocumented students and mixed-status families demands our attention. Trust and courage, essential companions on their journey, hinge on the delicate act of disclosing immigration status. As practitioners, we carry the responsibility of proactively creating a secure and inclusive environment. 

 

Successful schools take deliberate steps, employing visuals, inclusive terms, and providing default resources for all students, including those with undocumented or mixed-status backgrounds. Join us as we explore our roles as allies, advocates, and sources of information for our students. 

 

Let's begin by establishing a common understanding of key terms within undocumented communities. The terminology we'll delve into includes 'undocumented' and 'documented student with an undocumented parent.' By clarifying these terms, we aim to foster a shared foundation for the discussions ahead. 

 

It’s important to acknowledge that undocumented students and mixed-status families have reservations and fear of disclosing their immigration status. Families make sure to emphasize that if this information is told to the wrong person, there could be irreversible consequences that could impact the entire family. It takes a lot of TRUST and COURAGE for a student to be able to disclose their status, or the status of their families.  

  

As practitioners, we need to create and foster a safe environment for students from the moment schools start and maintain this as priority throughout the year. Schools that have the most success with ensuring that students and families feel safe are being proactive by:  

  

  • Posting visuals and inclusive terms 

  • Providing resources BY DEFAULT to ALL students (including undocumented and mixed-status families)  

  • Ensuring access to ALL opportunities by providing alternative requirements that undocumented and mixed-status families have access to.  

  

Once a student or a member discloses their immigration status, practitioners need to be prepared to:  

Also be prepared to communicate and collaborate with parents through the process of Financial Aid assistance as this is a new process for them.  

  

  • Show alliance and support. 
  • Explain the college process and Financial Aid. 
  • Provide information on the available opportunities. (FAFSA and TASFA) 

  

As practitioners, our role is to be an ally, advocate and a source of information for all students. We encourage you to use the following resources and attend our upcoming session to get access to more resources on how to create a safe space for students and families, and how to facilitate these conversations.  

  

ImmSchools invites you to join us in fostering an inclusive and supportive educational environment. At ImmSchools, we are dedicated to creating spaces where every student, regardless of their immigration status, feels secure and empowered. Our commitment extends beyond words, and we actively advocate for a future where education knows no boundaries. To learn more about our initiatives and resources designed to support undocumented and mixed-status students, we encourage you to explore our platform.  

 

Join us in our mission to empower students and families, and let's build bridges to education together. Visit our website or attend our upcoming session to discover how ImmSchools can be a valuable partner in creating safe spaces and facilitating crucial conversations in your educational community. Together, let's ensure that every student, regardless of their or parents immigration status, is met with understanding, opportunity, and success. 

  

www.immschools.org 

Partner with us: tinyurl.com/immschoolspartner 

Educator’s HUB: https://www.immschools.org/resources/educators-hub 

Families’ HUB: https://www.immschools.org/resources/families-hub 

Students’ HUB: https://www.immschools.org/resources/students-hub 

 

Registration for upcoming session:  

https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYsdOmrpzgrGt3j4BCh-MSBfju5BCPKhPwQ#/registration 

Author
ImmSchools is a nonprofit organization led by immigrants, dedicated to fostering safe and inclusive school environments for undocumented and mixed-status students and families. We collaborate with districts, schools, and community leaders across NYC, NJ, Dallas/Fort Worth, and San Antonio. Our mission involves delivering targeted interventions and professional development opportunities to educators, families, and students in support of the undocumented and immigrant community.