More undocumented students graduating high school than previously estimated

The number of undocumented students graduating from high schools in the United States is much higher than previously thought, Inside Higher Ed reports. According to a new report from the Migration Policy Institute, some 98,000 undocumented students graduate from American high schools every year. Previously, most discussions about undocumented students and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy relied on estimates from 2000-02 placing that number at about 65,000.

The new research was sponsored by the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration consortium, of which Georgetown University President John J. DeGioia is a founding member.

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The report also points out that California, Texas, New York, Florida, New Jersey, and Illinois are home to 62 percent of all undocumented students graduating from American high schools, with California alone accounting for 27 percent of the 98,000 graduates. The report also acknowledges that a large portion of these undocumented students are ineligible for DACA, a policy that helps protect against deportation. And with the Trump administration continuing its fight to end the DACA program completely, undocumented high school graduates are facing uncertain futures as they likely “will be at risk of deportation and will face severely limited opportunities to pursue further work and education.”

Over 400 university presidents are urging Congress to protect undocumented students. Referring to the minors who would be affected by the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, a legislative proposal that would help undocumented students gain a path to permanent residency, The Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration consortium earlier this year wrote in a letter to Congress that “the high anxiety and uncertainty on our campuses continue as many of our Dreamer students, alumni, and community members, along with those in TPS, fear for their futures and families.” They added, “We recognize that bipartisan legislation to protect Dreamers and deal with other immigration matters entails compromise, and we support evidence-based, effective, and commonsense policy solutions.”

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