Claudia became an immigrant on paper in 2001, but she first identified as immigrant during college. As a Temporary Protection Status (TPS) holder, Claudia was unable to afford her first year at a private liberal arts college. She transferred to community college and later public university in her home state, where she appealed for in-state tuition. No where is the barrier to higher education clearer than at the intersection of a student’s legal status and college tuition.

Claudia has been using poetry as an act of resistance and protest since discovering this intersection. She is an independent immigration advocate working for the TPS, DACA, and undocumented community.


Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is temporary relief from deportation and legal work authorization provided to people from certain countries. It is not a pathway to citizenship regardless of the decades that many immigrants have been part of this program, paying income taxes and program fees.

By early 2018, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced six countries are set to lose their TPS designation. El Salvador is one of those countries, along with Sudan, Nepal, Haiti, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Two lawsuits have allowed extensions keeping TPS holders in the U.S. through June 2024. Learn more about TPS at and take action with the National TPS Alliance, or visit the blog tab to learn more about TPS.



Immigrant-Heritage Student Profile

  • Mixed-status family (one or more family member is undocumented, temporary resident, or permanent resident)
  • The student themselves may be undocumented, hold a work permit, or visa
  • Varying levels of understanding and comfort in their legal status
  • Varying racial backgrounds: Latinx, African, Asian Pacific-Islander
  • Bilingual or English Language Learner

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