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California State University, Long Beach
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What is an Ally?

  • An Ally of AB 540 and other undocumented students is a person who:
  • Acknowledges that AB 540 and other undocumented students have a right to be enrolled in the university
  • Becomes informed about the rights afforded by law to AB 540 students
  • Finds legal alternative ways that assist students meet academic requisites when the students are excluded by law from regular participation in employment, federal and state aid, federal programs, paid internships, travel, or the use of identification forms that they do not have, etc
  • Believes that children and youth ought not to be targets of anti-immigrant discrimination; i.e., children should be left out of the immigration “wars”
  • Knows that because of negative attitudes toward illegal immigration and the lack of legal rights accorded to children and youth who are undocumented, that a person who has legal status has more power in initiating institutional support and can advocate against prejudice and discrimination
  • Listens openly, yet does not interrogate the student on their immigration status
  • Does not “out” the student to others, without the student’s permission
  • Does not encourage students to act on matters that may compromise them when they have the opportunity to adjust their status
  • Creates a climate of trust that allows the student to reveal their situation at their own pace
  • Handles student’s emotions with reserve, empathy, and support, and refers to appropriate professional campus staff as needed.
  • Follows up on referrals to assess the effectiveness of the referral
  • Is clear about his or her own personal motivation in becoming an Ally
  • Is committed to maintaining confidentiality and respecting the privacy of people who are undocumented

Adapted from handouts developed by Shawn-Eric Brooks and Vernon, A. Wall (1990) and by Velvet Miller and Christina Testa, based on materials from “Diversity Works” (1992) and from CSULB, Counseling and Psychological Services, Safe Zone, “Becoming an Ally”.