Page Menu

MLK's Message of Justice for All: SPARC faculty member, Rosalie Torres Stone, quoted in a Clark University news story

Date Posted: Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Undocumented College Students, Social Exclusion, and Psychosocial Well-Being


Rosalie Torres Stone, Ph.D.
Professor of Sociology, Clark University
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, University of Massachusetts Medical School

Rosalie Torres Stone addressed the well-being of undocumented college students. The latest data, from 2008, notes 11.9 million undocumented immigrants in the United States — two million of them are children and 7,000 to 13,000 are enrolled in college. Some of these students were granted two-year deferments from deportation action under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy.

Some undocumented students don’t learn of their immigration status until they reach high school. They discover they legally cannot participate in the same rites of passage they see their classmates experiencing, like getting a job, a license, or registering to vote, she said. And when it comes time to apply to college, there are more roadblocks. Only 20 states offer in-state tuition to undocumented students, which severely limits where they can enroll. And they are not eligible for federal student aid, so they must search for private scholarships or cover those costs out-of-pocket.

On campus measures such as a resource guide for undocumented students and sensitivity training for faculty and staff would be helpful, Torres Stone said.

The bottom line, she said, is that DACA students “didn’t choose this life. They’re still people, and their immigration status doesn’t define who they are. They may be undocumented, but they grew up immersed in American culture.”

read the entire article