Become an Ally
An ally is someone who makes a personal commitment to fight oppression. An ally reflects on prejudice with a willingness to become aware, gain knowledge, and acquire the skills to affect change with action
Interacting with your HB 1079 Students
When a student comes to see you as an ally, they may share information about their immigration status with you with the keen awareness of the risks involved – the risk of jeopardizing their relationship with you, the risk of being rejected, and the risk of being denied success in your class or program.
How you react to their disclosure is critical. It can potentially help them or discourage them enough that they will abandon seeking help from you. The more positively you receive the information, the more comfortable you will make the student. The student may even share their ambivalence about telling you. Assure them of confidentiality, do not try to fix everything without knowing what could jeopardize a student's immigration status, do not give them false hope or guesstimates
Guidelines to keep in mind when interacting with HB 1079 students
Be aware of your own assumptions about the undocumented. HB 1079 and other undocumented students are a diverse group who are not individually distinguishable from every other student. If you do not understand something or have questions, do not expect the student to be your informant on the undocumented.
- Clarify with them what level of confidentiality they expect from you. They may not want you to tell anyone
- If a student reveals that he or she is HB 1079, do not interrogate them about their immigration status. Listen attentively. If you do not know how to help them, tell them that you will find out and then get back to that student
- Recognize that some others may be intolerant of the undocumented and that you may be a target as well
- Do not ever give immigration advice, or suggest that one can identify himself or herself as a US citizen, drive without a license, or use false identification
- Do not ask questions that would be considered rude. Never ask, "Are you illegal?"