Undocumented Students

What is the DREAM act?

The DREAM Act is a piece of federal legislation which would legalize the status of several million undocumented youth. The DREAM Act stands for the Development Relief and Education of Alien Minors Act. Under the DREAM Act, qualifying undocumented youth would be eligible for a 6 year long conditional path to citizenship that requires completion of a college degree or two years of military service. However the DREAM Act has not passed.

In State Tuition

In 2003, Illinois signed into law an in-state tuition bill (Public Act 93-0007) also referred to as House Bill 60. This law permits certain undocumented students who have attended and graduate from high school in Illinois to pay the same tuition rate as other classmates at public institutions.

Who is eligible to benefit from HB60 Higher Education In-State Tuition?

In order to qualify for HB60 In-State Tuition rates (at public Illinois colleges or universities) under HB 60, undocumented student must meet the following requirements:
  • student has resided in Illinois with his/her parent or guardian while attending public or private high school;
  • student has graduated from an Illinois public or private high school or received a GED from Illinois;
  • student has attended an Illinois high school for at least three (3) years;
  • student has registered to enter a university no earlier than fall 2003 semester; and
  • student provides the university with an affidavit stating he/she will file an application to become a permanent resident of the U.S. once he/she becomes eligible to do so

About the "Affidavit": What is it, and is it Required?

The HB 60 In-State Tuition law requires undocumented students to sign an affidavit promising to legalize his or her immigration status as soon as eligible. The affidavits will be exchanged between the university or college and you (the student).

Affidavit (n). af•fi•da•vit [ àffi dáyvit ] A written version of a sworn statement: a written declaration made on oath before somebody authorized to administer oaths (such as a Notary Public)

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

Under President Obama's June 15, 2012 Executive Mandate, some individuals qualify for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (or DACA, for short) program, part of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services department. Under DACA, children who came to the country under the age of 16 and prior to 2007 and meet other guidelines may requeste consideration of deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal, and would then be eligible for work authorization. Deferred Action is a discretionary determination to defer removal action of an individual as an act of prosecutorial discretion. Deferred Action does not provide an individual with lawful status. Deferred Action is not a pathway to citizenship or permanent residency, nor does it allow the individual to seek federal or state college financial aid.

Additional information can be found on the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services website http://www.uscis.gov