Supporting Undocumented Students

Supporting Undocumented Students

FAQ                Duke News

Duke students, please contact Dr. Li-Chen Chin with questions or concerns that are not answered in the FAQ below. or 919-684-5480.


Q: Where can I find more information about DACA?

A: You can get more information about DACA, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals through U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services at

Q: I am an undocumented student. Should I file for DACA now?

A: Please consult with a qualified immigration attorney before making a decision about applying. Call Dr. Li-Chen Chin at 919-684-5480 if you need a referral for an immigration attorney.

Q: What happens to my study if the DACA program is rescinded?

A: If you have employment authorization granted under DACA and the program is rescinded, you won'€™t be eligible for Duke work study. Duke may change the components of your award to meet your demonstrated financial need. If you are a graduate or professional student, please check with your department.

Q: What should I do if I am stopped or detained off campus?

A: Please appoint a family member or a trusted friend as your representative. If you are stopped or detained off campus, ask your representative to page the Dean-on-call at 919-970-4169, and the Dean-on-call will respond and connect you with appropriate resources. 

Q: I have received advance parole through DACA, can I travel outside the U.S.?

A: If your DACA and/or advance parole document is revoked while you are abroad, you may not be allowed to re-enter the U.S.  Please consult with a qualified immigration attorney before making a decision.

Q: Where can I get assistance for my tax returns?

A: If you earned less than $54,000, you are eligible for free tax preparation assistance from Duke Law School’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA).  You can find VITA sites at Please note that for 2016 tax returns, both the Duke Law School and Duke Credit Union VITA sites are no longer accepting appointments.

Q: I have family members who are undocumented and I am very worried about them.  Where can I go to get support?

A: It is normal to feel anxious at this time of uncertainty.  You should seek support from others, such as family, friends, religious/spiritual communities, and your Duke advisors.  Duke Counseling and Psychological Services provides professional support and adheres to confidentiality rules that protect all students' privacy. 

Learn more about these reactions and coping strategies 

Q: Can I obtain a North Carolina driver'€™s license?

A: If you have been granted deferred action under DACA, you are eligible to apply for a North Carolina driver'€™s license for the duration of your permission to remain in the U.S., and if you meet all other statutory requirements. 

 Duke News

Duke's financial aid policy regarding undocumented students

Beginning with the class entering in the fall of 2017, Duke will meet 100% of the demonstrated financial need for undocumented students. More.


March 16, 2017

Letter From College and University Presidents to President Trump About '€œDreamers'

"€‹On March 16, the higher education community sent a letter to President Donald J. Trump thanking him for his positive comments about '€œDreamers' and asking him to allow these productive and high-achieving individuals to continue working and studying while his administration and Congress arrive at a permanent solution regarding their immigration status. It was signed by more than 560 college and university presidents and sent by ACE on behalf of itself and a number of major higher education associations. "€‹More.


March 5, 2017

Durham Police Chief Cerelyn "€œC.J."€ Davis said that as a mother and resident, she is concerned about what is happening in the nation. "€œCheckpoints in the city of Durham have been directed to cease and desist,"€ Davis said. More.


February 25, 2017

Chapel Hill, Carrboro police chiefs: "We'€™re not in the immigration business"€™

Amid growing concern in the community, police chiefs in Chapel Hill and Carrboro told 500 Latinos this week that local police are not out looking for people in the country illegally. More.


February 25, 2017

Congressman G.K. Butterfield holds forth, listens at Hillside High

U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield, D-N.C., spent more than an hour taking questions from constituents Saturday at Hillside High School. More.


February 13, 2017

Duke Joins Peer Universities in Filing Legal Brief Opposing White House Immigration Order

Duke joined 16 other universities in filing an amicus brief opposing the Trump administration’s immigration order.

Each of the 17 universities "€œhas a global mission, and each derives immeasurable benefit from the contributions of diverse students, faculty and scholars from around the world,"€ the brief says. "€œBecause (the universities) seek to educate future leaders from nearly every continent, attract the world'€™s best scholars, faculty and students, and work across international borders, they rely on the ability to welcome international students, faculty and scholars into their communities." More.


January 29, 2017. Editor's Note: The following message was sent by email Sunday to all Duke students, faculty and staff by the president and provost of Duke University.

Message from the President and Provost on federal immigration restrictions (updated)

Dear Colleagues,

The new restrictions on immigration to the United States by residents of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen that were announced on Friday by President Trump are both confusing and disturbing.  We want to assure you that Duke has reached out to our students, faculty and staff from the affected countries to offer support and guidance during this difficult time. More.


December 8, 2016. Editor's Note: The following message was sent by President Richard H. Brodhead to members of the Duke community.

To the Duke community:

In recent weeks, there has been public concern around the future status of undocumented college students in America. While it is difficult to predict what actions the new administration and Congress will take next year, I write to assure this community that Duke University stands strongly with all of its students, regardless of their immigration status. More.