Got Papers? Got Dreams?
Know that you can go to college regardless of your immigration status

Legal Resources


Undocumented parents live with the fear of deportation and they strongly caution their children to keep their immigration status private. Therefore, students heed their parent’s warning and are reluctant to talk to teachers and counselors about their situation and the constraints of being undocumented. If a student’s parent is fearful about disclosure, it may be helpful to tell the parent that there is a law that protects the privacy of Kindergarten – 12th grade students, college students and parents. That law is called FERPA – the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

About FERPA 

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education. As a result, universities cannot release the student’s information, including the fact that they are undocumented, except under very specific circumstances, such as a court order. 

Professional Ethics

In addition, professional ethics prohibit the disclosure of personal information by certain professionals on campuses. The Ombudsman, Psychologist in the counseling center and others are obligated to maintain confidentially and will release private information to other university professionals only when there is a “need to know”, and with the student’s permission. Normally, students should not fear being “outed” on campus. Common sense however, is always advised. Students should never state that they are US citizens, as it is grounds for immediate deportation when the student becomes eligible to regularize his or her status.


Legal Resources 

Being informed about immigration laws often helps students deal with some of their fears. There are a number of public legal resources where students and parents may obtain information. Students are cautioned never to take so-called “legal advice” from anyone other than a certified immigration professional and/or immigration attorneys. Bad information can cause students to engage in risky behavior that may hurt them when they become eligible to regularize their status. The following are a select number of immigration websites that may be helpful.

Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF)
Founded in 1974, the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) is a national organization that protects and promotes the civil rights of Asian Americans. By combining litigation, advocacy, education, and organizing, AALDEF works with Asian American communities across the country to secure human rights for all.
Asian Pacific American Legal Center of Southern California (APALC)
APALC is the nation’s largest legal organization serving the Asian and Pacific Islander (API) communities. Founded in 1983, APALC advocates for civil rights, provides legal services and education, and builds coalitions to positively influence and impact APIs and to create a more equitable and harmonious society.
Central American Resource Center – Centro De Recursos Centroamericanos (CARECEN)
CARECEN was formed to empower Central Americans by defending human and civil rights, working for social and economic justice and promoting cultural diversity. Its vision is for the Los Angeles region to become a place where Central Americans and all other communities can live in peace, with dignity, and enjoy economic well-being, social justice, and political empowerment.
Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA)
CHIRLA was formed in 1986 to advance the human and civil rights of immigrants and refugees in Los Angeles; promote harmonious multi-ethnic and multi-racial human relations; and through coalition-building, advocacy, community education and organizing, empower immigrants and their allies to build a more just society.
Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF)
MALDEF was founded in 1968 in San Antonio, Texas. The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) is the leading nonprofit Latino litigation, advocacy and educational outreach institution in the United States. MALDEF's mission is to foster sound public policies, laws and programs to safeguard the civil rights of the 45 million Latinos living in the United States and to empower the Latino community to fully participate in our society.
National Immigration Law Center (NILC)
Since 1979, the National Immigration Law Center (NILC) has been dedicated to protecting and promoting the rights of low income immigrants and their family members. In the past 20 years, NILC has earned a national reputation as a leading expert on immigration, public benefits, and employment laws affecting immigrants and refugees. Its extensive knowledge of the complex interplay between immigrants' legal status and their rights under U.S. laws is an essential resource for legal aid programs, community groups, and social service agencies across the country.
National Legal Sanctuary for Community Advancement (NLSCA)
Founded in 2004, NLSCA’s mission is to ensure human rights and dignity of Middle Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian peoples. It advocates for legal defense of civil rights, responsible media coverage and depiction; proactive collaboration with governmental and nongovernmental institutions; and fostering education and community outreach.
Salvadoran American Leadership and Educational Fund (SALEF)
SALEF was founded in 1995 in Los Angeles by a group of Salvadoran and Salvadoran American activists. SALEF’s mission is to advocate for the educational advancement, civic participation, leadership and economic prosperity of Salvadoran and other Latino communities in the U.S.; and to advance democracy and social justice in the U.S. and El Salvador.


Website Builder