Center for American Progress

RELEASE: Undocumented College Students Generated Up to $132 Million in Relief to Colleges—But Won’t Receive a Dime From the Stimulus
Press Release

RELEASE: Undocumented College Students Generated Up to $132 Million in Relief to Colleges—But Won’t Receive a Dime From the Stimulus

Washington, D.C. — Students across the country deeply rely on accessing relief funding amid the coronavirus pandemic. For undocumented students, those funds could make the difference between forcing them to leave college or completing their degree, a new column published today by the Center for American Progress finds. The column highlights the fact that undocumented college students contributed as much as $132.6 million in stimulus relief to America’s colleges and universities through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’ unauthorized decision harms undocumented students by prohibiting them from receiving access to federal emergency assistance during the biggest public health crisis of the century.

Maya, a student at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), recounts her experience enduring economic hardship as her undocumented family struggles to make ends meet due to losing their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic. She is an example of how without emergency aid, these students are now more likely to drop out during the pandemic because they were already struggling to afford the rising cost of college.

Furthermore, UCLA will soon receive nearly $18 million in emergency aid for students from the U.S. Department of Education, but Maya won’t receive a penny from this relief because of her immigration status. According to new data in the column, undocumented students could have helped their colleges receive as much as $132.6 million in the stimulus bill yet will receive no help, despite the fact that their enrollment helped colleges receive more stimulus money in the first place.

“The value of undocumented students should not be solely understood in economic terms. Countless research studies show that racial, linguistic, and cultural diversity is an asset that promotes academic achievement and helps the country thrive in a globalized world,” said Viviann Anguiano, associate director for Postsecondary Education at CAP and author of the column. “The administration must include these students in the emergency packages. It is not only immoral and economically counterintuitive, but it is also ungrounded in the law.”

Read the column: “Undocumented Students Generated Up to $132.6 Million in Relief to Colleges—But They Won’t Receive a Dime From the Stimulus” by Viviann Anguiano.

To find the latest CAP resources on the coronavirus, visit our coronavirus resource page.

For more information or to speak with an expert, please contact Ricardo Rauseo at rrauseo@americanprogress.org.