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California State University, Long Beach
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Effective Ally Strategies

Take responsibility for your own education on issues related to the undocumented. Take the initiative to become as knowledgeable as you can on issues of concern to students who are immigrants and who may be undocumented, children of undocumented, or US born siblings of undocumented

Assume that the issues of prejudice and discrimination of immigrants and others are everyone’s concern, not just the concern of those who are targets of prejudice and discrimination

Assume that young people have a right to education and they have done nothing wrong to become undocumented

Assume that immigration policy changes and it is just a matter of time before there is comprehensive immigration reform that gives law abiding, educated young people a pathway to legal residency and naturalization

Assume that US raised undocumented immigrant youth want to stay in the US and realize the “American Dream” as much as any other US born and raised youth


Avoid engaging in giving advice or assistance that would compromise their future pathway to citizenship

Create opportunities for allies to reduce xenophobia and create a welcoming campus climate

Get to know specific students so that you can honestly write them highly effective letters of recommendation that will help them apply for scholarships to finance their education

Within the spirit of academic standards and legal requirements, become flexible about course and program requirements so that they do not cause barriers for undocumented students’ academic success

Graciously accept any gratitude you may receive, but do not expect gratitude.

Adapted from Shervor-Marcuse, R (1990) Working assumptions and guidelines for alliance building. Presented as part of an Ally Program at the annual ACPA Conference, Atlanta, GA. and CSULB Safe Zone Becoming an Ally