Video highlights challenges, stress faced by undocumented students

In a new video, The Hechinger Report explores the numerous obstacles that complicate the path to a college degree for undocumented students. In addition to financial and family pressures, students without legal status shoulder the stress of deportation threats and tenuous access to critical resources. Just a small fraction—5 to 10 percent—of undocumented high school graduates go on to college; within that group, just 1 to 3 percent ultimately graduate with a degree, according to the United We Dream Network, an immigrant youth-led advocacy organization.

The video looks at the story of Kansas City, Missouri, student Victor Perez, who was born in Mexico and grew up in South Carolina, where undocumented youth are prohibited from enrolling in public colleges. Perez ultimately made his way to Missouri and is now a college junior but says the journey has been “really confusing and scary.” Noting that undocumented college students are four times more likely to suffer from anxiety disorders than other students, the video also features efforts by the Kansas and Missouri DREAM alliance—a non-profit, youth-led student immigration organization—to inform, empower, and support undocumented individuals.

Support for undocumented students at Georgetown

As a Catholic and Jesuit institution, Georgetown values the dignity of all members of our university community, regardless of immigration status, and has committed to supporting undocumented students and the unique challenges they may face. Learn more at

Topics in this story

Next Up

The daily rhythms of two students at ‘opposite ends of the income gap’

Hoping to “capture a more representative snapshot of what college looks like today,” Washington Post reporters followed two students for one day—and had widely divergent experiences.