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Undocumented Students Terminology


The following definitions and terminology have been adapted from National Immigration Law Center, Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, Migration Policy Institute, and The Urban Institute

Undocumented: a foreign national who 1) entered the United States without inspection or with fraudulent documentation; or 2) entered as a nonimmigrant with proper documentation but then overstayed the terms of their status and remained in the United States without authorization, as defined by the National Immigration Law Center. Other terms commonly used in reference to undocumented students include unauthorized, undocumented American, DREAMers, DACA-student, generation 1.5, and aspiring citizens. 

Undocuqueer: refers to the intersection of the Undocumented and LGBTQIA+ struggles to give voice to those living in both worlds and embracing both identities. For more information, please visit United We Dream, LGBTQ Justice 

Undocuasian: refers to the growing number of undocumented Asian youth 
For more information visit Asian American Justice Center

DACA Student: refers to youth who are eligible and have applied and received the documentation under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Please visit the Immigrant Legal Resource Center for more information

Legal U.S. Citizenship: obtained by individuals who were born in the United States; or by individuals who followed the U.S. Citizenship naturalization process as stated by the U.S. Immigration Office

Non-Citizen: a person who is not a U.S. citizen or Permanent Legal Resident of the United States and does not hold a valid visa to be authorized to be in the United States.

Overstayed Visa: refers to an individual who entered the United States with proper documentation but stayed in the United States after their tourist, visitor, or student visa expired; thus their new status is "undocumented".

International Student: a student from a foreign country who holds a student visa for the purposes of pursuing a college education or advance degree in the United States. Undocumented students are not considered international students and do not have to meet international student admission criteria.

Residency Status: refers to in-state or out-of-state residency for tuition purposes. Residents of the state of Illinois receive in-state tuition at all state universities. 
Note: Community Colleges utilize the term in-district or out-of district and it refers to the district the community college serves in a specific area; students simply need to prove they live in the "school" district the community college serves.

Mixed Status Family: Families that consist of at least one undocumented immigrant family member or non-citizen and at least one U.S. born family member. 

Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN): is a tax processing number only available for certain nonresident and resident immigrants; their spouses, and dependents who cannot get a Social Security Number (SSN). It is a 9-digit number, beginning with the number "9", formatted like a SSN (NNN-NN-NNNN). To learn how to obtain an ITIN, visit here.

DREAMers: undocumented immigrant youth who came to the United States at a young age.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at North Central College

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