Tips for Advising this Population
IRT Support for Non-U.S. Citizen Students
The Immigration Response Team (IRT) provides consultations for students with questions, can assist with connecting students with the appropriate university or community resources and can advise university leaders if policies affect non-U.S. citizen students’ ability to study, travel or work.
Concerns of Non-U.S. Citizen Students
Immigration status can affect a student’s ability to work and travel outside the U.S. Because there is no real “path to citizenship,” students without documentation might live in fear of being exposed and deported. For students enrolled in DACA, they might have questions about renewal, whether to enroll if they currently are not in the program. If DACA ends or is phased out, there will be many questions about the affect it will on on their ability to student and work, as well as their safety and concerns about being targeted for removal.
There is significant turmoil and uncertainty in the U.S. immigration policy that affects international students, DACA and undocumented students. The uncertainty can have an effect on their physical and mental health and their academic goals. In addition, the number of people being targeted for immigration enforcement is unprecedented. Students without documentation or who might qualify for asylum might be fearful and anxious about any interactions with law enforcement or government agencies.
Tips for Supporting this Population
Students might be hesitant to discuss immigration status. The IRT director, Marissa Hill-Dongre, is an attorney with experience in immigration law and policy so students might feel more comfortable discussing concerns and questions with her.
Advisors should know there is no Minnesota state law or federal law requiring proof of citizenship for admission to the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. Also, the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) prohibits school officials from disclosing immigration status without a student’s express permission.
Consultations for Faculty and Staff
Advisors can consult with the IRT. Marissa Hill-Dongre, who is the director of the IRT, can meet with advisors alone or with a student and advisor. She is available to answer questions and discuss situations for which advisors and students have concerns.
Consultation and Immigration Expert
Marissa Hill-Dongre is the director of the IRT. She is an attorney who practiced immigration law focusing on family-based immigration, naturalization and on applications for victims of crime. At the university, she advised students, faculty and staff on issues related to F1 and H1B visas, employment-based permanent residence applications and other immigration-law related issues. Marissa speaks English and Spanish.