Book by Jerry Price
Review by Amy Burns
College of Community and Public Service Undergraduate Advising Center
Grand Valley State University

The volume, Understanding and Supporting Undocumented Students, provides student affairs professionals with a basic overview and understanding of undocumented students and the experiences they face daily. The personal stories told by the undocumented students, bring to light real dilemmas faced by this population. President Obama (2011) discussed this population in his State of the Union Address where he described the need for policy change and support for these students.

Authors within this volume challenge readers to recognize their roles in supporting the academic and social success of undocumented students. Thus it is imperative that we are aware of laws and policies regarding this population group especially since these laws and policies vary by state. When student affairs professionals have this knowledge we can advocate for undocumented students rights and their participation in higher education. 

Discussions of The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 and the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 help readers better understand the issues faced by undocumented students. Authors within the text address many obstacles this population faces including college admission, lack of financial aid, how they can procure employment, effective networking, and finding supportive individuals on campus.  

This volume is a good starting point for all student affairs professionals who seek basic information about the population of undocumented students and the laws and policies that govern their inclusion within higher education. A discussion of The Development Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act is included at the end of the book. Until this act is passed undocumented students must continue being creative when it comes to overcoming obstacles. We, as student affairs professionals, should familiarize ourselves with the DREAM Act and the implications it will have if passed by the U.S. Congress. 

Obama, B. (2011). State of the union. Retrieved from http://www.whitehouse.gov/state-of-the-union-2011

Understanding and supporting undocumented students (New Directions for student services #131). (2010). Book by Jerry Price (Ed.). Review by Amy Burns. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. 88pp. US $29.00, ISBN: 978-0-470-92249-1
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