The Personal Growth and Counseling Center (PGCC) at California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB) held a Let’s Talk: Undocu Success presentation, which went over some of the struggles undocumented students face around the country today, and ways to deal with these stressors on Oct. 7.
Maria Lopez – an undocu resource specialist at CSUMB – and psychology intern Will Diaz Tapia listed some of the stressors that Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients face.
Stressors commonly include fears of not being understood by those sharing similar problems, with concern about possible discrimination when being open about their immigration status. Additionally, many immigrants share beliefs about needing to be strong, not being sensitive or vulnerable and concerns about their finances. The main concern, of course, is the fear of deportation.
Jessica Lopez, leader of PGCC, describes the feeling a lot of undocumented students face as “being in limbo,” because they are in-between being sent back to their country, and working towards something they know can benefit them.
“There’s so much pressure to be not just perfect, but beyond perfect,” Lopez said. “Always trying to prove worth in an environment with a hostile culture with peoples’ stereotypes of what it means to be undocumented and trying to fight that. It’s hard for any person, especially young people.”
Here are some ways people can support undocumented students:
If an undocumented student approaches you as a friend with their issues, it means there’s trust. Listen to them, try to see where they are coming from and validate their emotions.
Encourage undocumented students to reach out to campus services, which are 100 percent anonymous. These services are paid for through tuition.
The Undocu-Success Support Center is a great space for undocumented students to find support from staff and allies with similar experiences.
For more information, resources and events, check out @undocusuccess on Instagram or check out PGCC on the CSUMB Dashboard.