“At least 100,000 undocumented students will graduate from U.S. high schools this spring, and each year for at least the next three years.”
FWD.us estimates that some 100,000 undocumented young people will graduate from high school this spring.1 Part of the larger 2.8 million-strong Dreamer population, these undocumented students came to the U.S. as children, and have spent most of their lives in this country.2 With more than 600,000 K-12 undocumented students enrolled in U.S. schools, hundreds of thousands of future high school graduates will continue to face limited options for their futures without immigration relief. In fact, FWD.us estimates that at least 100,000 undocumented students will graduate from U.S. high schools each year for at least the next three years.
As undocumented high school seniors across the country prepare to receive their diplomas, most will encounter greater challenges than previous classes of undocumented graduates. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), a DHS policy offering work authorization and deportation protections for undocumented individuals who entered the U.S. as children, has been life-changing for hundreds of thousands of Dreamers since its inception in 2012. And, as it has been for so many other undocumented high school graduates in recent years, such a policy holds transformative potential for future high school graduates. But now, only a quarter of this year’s undocumented high school graduates would be eligible for immigration relief through DACA under current rules. This is because the class of 2022 is one of the first graduating classes where the overwhelming majority of undocumented graduates are ineligible for DACA because they entered the U.S. after the DACA-required arrival date of June 15, 2007.