Undocumented college students could access campus services more easily under Villa measure

SPRINGFIELD – Undocumented college students could depend on resource centers and campus liaisons for help accessing on-campus services under a measure sponsored by State Senator Karina Villa (D-West Chicago), which passed the Senate Friday.

“The changing immigration climate in our country can have a profound impact on a student’s well-being and academic success,” Villa said. “Resources on campus that provide tailored support to students can be the key to increasing retention and matriculation among undocumented students.”

The legislation would require public universities and community colleges in Illinois to designate an employee as an Undocumented Student Resource Liaison, as well as encourage schools to establish an Undocumented Student Resource Center on campus to assist undocumented students.

Liaisons and resource centers would help undocumented students and mixed-status students navigate financial aid programs, academic and career counseling, retention and matriculation support services, and mental health counseling offered on campus.

“Our focus should be on students’ health, well-being and success in school,” Villa said. “Targeted resources will have a profound impact on marginalized communities on campus.”

House Bill 3438 passed the Senate with a vote of 43-11.