Undocumented Immigrant Student & Ally Resources


This page contains information for Predocumented* Immigrant Students and people working with/for them-who may be called UndocuAllies. Find Links, Information, and Contacts regarding AB540.  

At SJSU our first cohort of AB540 students was 34 mostly undergraduate students in 2003.  In the fall of 2016 the number grew to approximately 600++ students in both graduate and undergraduate programs.  Our students are represented in every major, and come from every continent on our planet.  The majority of our AB540 students are Latin American , primarily from Mexico.  The second largest group is Asian students primarily from China, Philippines, Korea, and some from VietNam.  

Currently about half of our students receive financial aid from the California Dream Act Financial Aid and most of their tuition and fees are paid.  Some students receive private sponsorships and scholarships.  Some of our students work at more than one job to attend college for up to 40 hours per week.  

Our goal is to find the necessary resources to help coordinate services to our AB540 and Predocumented Students so that they may focus on their academic success.

Our students are classified by the following designations:

  • AB540/AB2000-These students have access to instate tuition and CA Dream Act  Financial Aid, plus the Dream Loan.
  • DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals)-These students have a legal work permit and may work in any job.  These students also benefit from Advance Parole and up may travel outside of the United States by applying and paying an additional fee.  (Following the 2016 elections we have been advised that any DACA student must return to the U.S. prior to January 19th in the event that DACA is cancelled by the incoming administration).    DACA students may also AB540.
  • Undocumented-(no visa, no preferred status).  These students do not qualify for any assistance and have no protections.  However, they may receive privately funded scholarships, sponsorships, and private assistance.

Since 2004 the Chicano/Latino Faculty and Staff Association has awarded scholarships as part of their Dr. Ernesto Galarza Scholarships to students in any of these undocumented statuses.

In 2014 I called a meeting of campus and community leaders to formally work to institutionalize resources for undocumented students by developing a Resource Center with assistance from Provost Andy Feinstein. 

On December 9, 2015 the SJSU Associated Students unanimously passed a resolution to develop an AB540 and Undocumented Student Resource Center - with the leadership of Hector Perea (who would win AS President seat in spring 2016) and the support of many allies throughout SJSU.

In May of 2016 the Office of Student Affairs and Vice President Reggie Blaylock joined our effort and a committee was established under the name:  Undocumented Immigrant Student Resource Center Committee (est. late May 2016).  Our charge was to visit CSU and other local undocumented student centers to identify resources, services provided, and best practices.  

2014-2015, 2015-2016, and 2016-2017 CLFSA received funding for scholarships for Mexican students through the San Jose Mexican Consulate's IME Becas Program and in 2016 from Juntos Podemos fo the Parent's Allianace to award scholarships to SJSU Mexican students.  

Please check back as I am rebuilding and updating this page frequently.


Contact me: Professor Curry Phone: 408.924.5310 Email: Julia.Curry@sjsu.edu 


Our Immigrant Community- Unified Allies-Legal Discussion (16 November 2016):  Summary Report sent out to UndocuAlly list.  

UndocuAlly Door SignsSJSU UndocuAlly Door Sign

NonSJSU UndocuAlly Door Sign:  NonSJSU UndocuAlly Door Sign

 "Santuary Campuses and Other Important Questions for Campus Leaders" by Dan Berger and Stephen Yale-Loehr (12/12/2016)





Updated Information


Specific requests/questions sent in or asked at the SJSU Nov. 16 gathering:
  • Some students who are not known to their professors and fear telling their professors about their status as undocumented immigrant students said they are having difficulty with assignments such as papers, tests and class participation.  Please consider finding a way to make general statements of support in classes while maintaining the integrity of your pedagogy and course objectives.
  • Students indicated they fear "messing up" and know they must continue to do well in their studies, but they also are constantly thinking from their place of "privilege as students" that many of their families in their hometowns and the greater community do not have a refuge or information readily accessible to them.
  • Students asked about financial aid - CA Dream Act, CSU Grants, EOP and other forms of assistance.  Their best ally is the director of Financial Aid, Coleetta McElroy.  
  • Do some exploration about why undocumented immigration happens - people leave their countries for a variety of reasons including intervention in their countries.
  • Do not blame or vilify parents for wanting a safer, better future for their children!
  • Implement AB2000 immediately.
  • Find ways to continue to assist DACA students with employment options
  • Don't ask me not to be afraid. "We are scared and we are afraid!"
  • I must prove the negative voices wrong!
  • In college I am asked "are you a U.S. Citizen?" "What Country Are you From" - Not WHO ARE YOU!  Know ME!
  • I have a deep desire to speak up for students, for me, for what I believe.
  • I am unafraid and feel the need to be engaged in social action, but now I am also constantly thinking about what my actions might mean to my family, my unborn child, my friends.  
  • We need Allies!

Next Steps


What's next?
(borrowed from Alianza and NCAL Foco of the National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies)
  • Create Safe Zones and Advocacy in all of our public spaces
  • Do not cooperate with ICE
  • Enable more safe spaces for students and immigrants to voice their thoughts, fears, hopes and ideas.  
  • Support continued and accessible health care for undocumented immigrants
  • Organize and meet with San Jose City, SJSU and Santa Clara County, CA State elected officials, interfaith groups, and activists to publicly stand against hate/violence/hostility and other barriers faced by undocumented students.
  • Raise consciousness around abusive human rights violations targeting undocumented immigrant, the forced separation from families, and unequal labor treatment and educational opportunities
  • Support continuous efforts for immigration reform
  • Do not say that nothing will change and that there is nothing to fear-the future of immigrants was already perilous, now it is openly hostile
  • Challenge negative cultural stereotypes about immigrants
  • reframe undocumented campus discussion of students to include immigrant students
  • Dialog in your department meetings, college meetings, at the UCCD, the Academic Senate, any public forum being certain to ask/advocate for undocumented students
  • Know that immigrants pay taxes, contribute to our national community and our well-being on campus and in the greater community
  • Ask/Convince the Center for Faculty Development and other training spaces to host UndocuAlly Training Workshops for faculty, staff and administrators
  • Invite students to give testimonies in your events, meetings
  • Donate to the CLFSA Dr. Ernesto Galarza Scholarship and to other scholarships available to undocumented students and to the CLFSA Emergency Fund (got to www.sjsu.clfsa).  Indicate to any donor fund at SJSU to support students that you wish to earmark your donation for undocumented students at SJSU.
  • Be informed


New Guides and Links

MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund) 

MALDEF Immigrant Rights


E4FC - What we know now:  http://e4fc.org/whatweknow.html

 Includes: Get Screened for Immigration Options

Beyond Deferred Action-Long Term Immigration Remedies

ILRC Resources

Money on the Table: The Economic Cost of Ending DACA

http://preview.tinyurl.com/hnktf7o [Open in new window]



Protect our Community-Unity Gathering at San Jose City Hall


Contact: Scott Myers-Lipton, Ph.D.
Professor, Sociology, San José State University
Facebook: www.facebook.com/drsmlipton/
Website: www.myers-lipton.com  



California Dream Act Information

The California Dream Act of 2011 came about as a result of two bills. Assembly Bill 130 (AB130) and Assembly Bill 131 (AB131). AB130 allows undocumented and documented students who meet AB540 Provisions to apply for and receive private scholarships. AB131 Allows AB540 Students to apply for and receive state administered financial aid, university grants, and community college fee waivers.


College Board Information for Undocumented Students

The College Board is a mission-driven not-for-profit organization that connects students to college success and opportunity. Founded in 1900, the College Board was created to expand access to higher education. Today, the membership association is made up of over 6,000 of the world’s leading educational institutions and is dedicated to promoting excellence and equity in education. Each year, the College Board helps more than seven million students prepare for a successful transition to college through programs and services in college readiness and college success — including the SAT and the Advanced Placement Program. The organization also serves the education community through research and advocacy on behalf of students, educators and schools.



Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC)

Mission of the ILRC The Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) is a national non-profit resource center that provides legal trainings, educational materials, and advocacy to advance immigrant rights. The mission of the ILRC is to work with and educate immigrants, community organizations, and the legal sector to continue to build a democratic society that values diversity and the rights of all people. History The Immigrant Legal Resource Center was founded in 1979 by Bill Hing, a well-known immigrant rights attorney who recognized the developing need for expert technical assistance in immigration law and policy. In the mid-1970's, at a time when legal service agencies were not focusing on immigration law, Bill responded by organizing the Golden Gate Immigration Clinic, an agency originally staffed by law students. This early experience revealed that Bay Area community-based organizations serving immigrants and refugees lacked adequate training and staffing to grapple with the increasingly complex legal and social challenges faced by their clients. As a result, the agency became the ILRC in 1979 and Bill served as the organization's first Executive Director on a volunteer basis from 1979 to 2000. Currently, Eric Cohen, who joined the ILRC in 1988, is the Executive Director.



Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

On June 15, 2012, the Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, announced that certain people who came to the U.S. as children and met several guidelines may request consideration of deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal. With DACA people are eligible for work authorization. DACA may protect some people from deportation for a period of time. Deferred Action does not provide lawful status - but it affords some people limited protection and access to employment and other benefits. Find various resources on DACA here including informational sheets in various languages besides English. Additional resources for DACA are also found in the ILRC, E4FC, and other folders. Please explore.



Educators for Fair Consideration: E4FC Online Resources

Educators For Fair Consideration (E4FC)-the best resources for AB540 students in the Bay Area. Read About to familiarize yourself with resources. Visit E4FC website regularly for updated information and opportunities at http://www.e4fc.org



Financial Aid Guides and Booklets-Historical

This page includes documents produced by various institutions and Universities intended to help AB540 students and their allies learn about AB540 after the law was passed in California in 2002. Some of these guides are dated but continue to be extremely helpful for information on AB540, undocumented students, and access to higher education.


SJSU Campus Information for AB540 Students

Information for AB540 Students is found in a few places on campus. The Office of Student Outreach and Recruitment under the leadership of Karina and Patricia Gutierrez developed the first information guide. Since 2012 following the passage of the California Dream Act (AB130 and 131)Veronica Hand developed a resource page for EOP in 2012. MOSAIC had an AB540 help desk for a short time organized by Karla Reyes and other students transfer students from Evergreen Community College who had been active at EVC-they borrowed from the CSU Long Beach AB540 guide to develop a brief resource guide for SJSU

Documents (outdated but useful)

Student Forms Required to be Officially AB540 Classified

To be classified officially as an AB540 student for tuition purposes and CA Dream Act financial aide you must complete the AB540 California Non-Resident Tuition Exemption Form (known as the "Affidavit").  Generally this is the last item you complete when you graduate from high school.  Soon the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office will provide greater assistance with this process.


CSU Campuses with AB540 Guides and/or Centers

CSU Long Beach was the first campus to organize a guide and center for AB540 students. Some campuses have had services for many years without official centers. Some services for undocumented students begin with student groups. At SJSU the group was founded by Saul Verduzco in 2003 and is called Student Advocates for Higher Education (SAHE). Find guidebooks or Brochures and Info Guides prepared by other CSU campuses in this folder. For Information on SAHE see its own folder.


SJSU Student Advocates for Higher Education (SAHE)

The Student Advocates for Higher Education (SAHE) was founded as a group of the SJSU Associated Students and Student Life in 2003 by Saul Verduzco. The aim of SAHE was to provide support for AB540 students, to identify allies and advocates and to train students to go to the community to tell others about college availability for undocumented students. Since 2007 SAHE has developed and given its own scholarship to students in Northern California. They have given over 17 scholarships ranging from $300 to $1,500. Go to their website for more information. Student Advocates for Higher Education Student Involvement #136 Suite 140 Clark Hall One Washington Square San Jose Ca 95192-0038 SAHE accepts donations for their scholarship through SJSU Tower Foundation, donations are tax-deductible.


Scholarships Available to SJSU AB540 Students

SJSU has a limited number of scholarships for which AB540 students may apply. The Chicano/Latino Faculty and Staff Association (CLFSA) has given scholarships to AB540 continuing and transfer students from SJCC and EVC since 2005. The first AB540 Scholarship was given as the Northern California Foco of the National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies through CLFSA. AB540 Students are eligible to apply for Associated Student Scholarships, SJSU Alumni Scholarships and effective this year SJSU will offer Scholarships to Mexican AB540 students with a generous grant from the Mexican Government's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the San Jose Mexican Consulate. See details in document below.



2012 AB540 Symposium at SJSU - Information Only

Saturday, April 21 from 10:00-1:00 (with registration at 9:30 am) Location: event took place on SJSU Campus Martin Luther King Jr., Library, Room 225/229 Free and Open to the Public The Program included the following: Overview of AB540, AB130 and AB131 Applying to College-Community College, CSU, UC and Private Universities Funding your Education Beyond the BA Sponsors: Chicano/Latino Faculty and Staff Association, the Cultural Heritage Center and the Mexican American Studies Department (my home department).  Over 170 people registered and attended this event. Over 65,000 undocumented students graduate from high school each year across the United States. At least 25,000 are from the state of California. Due to their immigration status, these students encounter many barriers to achieving their higher education dreams. This symposium will provide information to students, parents and administrators on AB540, AB130 and AB131, admissions advising, alternative financial aid opportunities, and current AB540 students will share their experiences during and after University. 

 *In fall of 2015 we began to use the more optimistic term "Predocumented" rather than Undocumented label to refer to our students.