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Harnessing the Talent of DACA and Unauthorized Students at the K-12 Level

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Unauthorized youth who are navigating the U.S. education system face a patchwork of policies and practices in schools across the country. All students in the United States, regardless of legal status, are guaranteed a K-12 education, but beyond that, it is up to teachers and schools—with varying levels of knowledge and understanding of unauthorized students’ unique challenges—to help these students integrate and excel. The 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, initiative, has allowed nearly 700,000 young people to apply for work authorization and a temporary reprieve from deportation, allowing them to get more education. Nonetheless, permanent legal status for the roughly two million unauthorized immigrants who came to the United States as children has proved elusive to date, leaving many more students in limbo.

Please join the Center for American Progress for a panel discussion about the current challenges and opportunities facing unauthorized and “DACAmented” students in the K-12 levels and the innovative ways in which teachers and schools have helped these students succeed. Roberto G. Gonzales’ new book, Lives in Limbo: Undocumented and Coming of Age in America, tells the story of the two million unauthorized youths living in the United States and will be available for purchase at the event.