ASU offers support groups for illegal students, 'ally' workshops for citizens

The Arizona State University DREAMzone is an office entirely dedicated to providing illegal immigrant students with immigration resources and emotional support groups.

The center also serves citizens to teach them how to become proper “allies” to DACA and “undocumented” students.

Illegal immigrant students attending Arizona State University are provided with specialized counseling and emotional support groups, while their citizen peers and teachers are provided with opportunities to get “certified” in helping them.

As students get back into the school spirit for fall 2019, ASU is reminding “undocumented” students about all the resources available to them at the official ASU DREAMzone. 

According to the university, the DREAMzone is meant to help “students who are undocumented or recipients of DACA” because the college “balancing act” with classes, work, and extracurricular activities may be “even more challenging” for them than citizen students.

The center offers regular “support circles” for DACA students and otherwise “undocumented” students, as well as students “from mixed immigration status families.” The university says these support groups are “a necessary and valued safe space” for “students with uncertain immigration status.”

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“They helped me believe that being a DACA student can be a good thing and I should just own it,” student Sanchez Salcido said about her experience at the center, according to the release.

Faculty and staff seeking information about how best to “support” illegal alien students are also directed to the DREAMzone, where they can find various resources aimed to help ensure the success of illegal immigrant students. 

Individuals can also receive an “Ally Certification” from the DREAMzone by completing one of its 90-minute workshops. This certification supposedly establishes “a visible support network for DACA and undocumented students” at the university. In addition to lessons about current immigration policies, attendees are also taught “competencies and skills for working with DACA and undocumented students.”

In addition to offering emotional support for illegal students, the university states that it aims to “create access and improve retention for DACA students” at the university by “creating partnerships” between the DREAMzone and various ASU departments.

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DREAMzone is also a one-stop-shop for information related to DACA, as it maintains an updated information page of the current state of DACA, and any immigration policy-related news, as well as information for students seeking to renew DACA applications.

The center also serves as a bridge to an illegal immigrant student-led club called “Undocumented Students for Education Equity.” The club “advocates for education equity for all” and “educates on current immigration issues.”

The club’s stated goal is to “expand individual, group, and institutional capacity to openly address representation of undocumented students and contribute to a safe and respectful campus environment.”

Campus Reform reached out to the university for comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.

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