Support DACA Students

DACA and Undocumented

Support DACA Students

Ally Training

Undocumented Student Ally Training provides staff, administration, and faculty information that will allow them to better serve undocumented students at the University of Illinois. This training is led by staff and students who are part of the Illinois Coalition Assisting Undocumented Students’ Education (I-CAUSE).

Module 1: Immigration 101 – This module focuses on basic U.S. immigration policy history and allows the participant to understand how immigration law impacts our students on campus.

Module 2: DACA & Administrative Relief – This module covers what Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals is and some of its benefit and limitations. Participants are also able to discuss how to best advice students through examples and discussion.

Module 3: Ways to Support Students – This module allows participants to learn some ally do’s and don’ts, best practices when working with undocumented students, and to hear directly from staff who have worked with this population and who can share their experiences.

Module 4: Student Panel – This module focuses on current undocumented students and alum who will share what is it like to grow up undocumented, share their experiences as students on our campus, discuss some of the obstacles they have faced, and answer questions from participants.


Friday, October 22, 2021, 1:30 pm – 4:00 pm
In Person and via Zoom
Please Register by Monday, October 18, 2021

Sponsored by the Illinois Coalition Assisting Undocumented Students’ Education (I-CAUSE), La Casa Cultural Latina, and the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. In-person space is limited, and wait list individuals will be invited to attend via Zoom.

If you will need disability-related accommodations to participate in this program, please contact Ross Wantland at Early requests are strongly encouraged to allow sufficient time for your access needs to be met.



I-CAUSE is a coalition made up of undocumented and DACA students as well as Illinois staff.

Mission Statement: To create an alliance of undocumented students at the University of Illinois for representation, resource gathering, and access to post-secondary education. We aim to bring awareness of our status and create an inclusive climate for undocumented students to voice their concern. We strive to empower the community as a means to create allies and advocate for policy change by sharing our testimonies.


Kevin GarciaKevin F. Garcia • President; Undocu/DACA Mentor: Proudly from Mexico City, Mexico, I came to the United States at the age of 3. Growing up, I was proud of my heritage and always sought to represent where I came from in everything that I did. Like every other immigrant, my family and I came to the United States in search of a better life. Despite the negative language used by politicians in the United States, I still consider this country my home and ultimately seek to honor my family by succeeding, which is why I am studying Finance and Industrial/Organizational Psychology with a minor in Spanish as a James Scholar! At the same time, I want to ensure that underrepresented groups have the same ability to succeed in any endeavor, which is how I co – founded Prospanica UIUC Chapter with my partner, an association of hispanic professionals. I joined I-CAUSE because I wanted to be in space where I could change a university and nationwide system that did not favor undocumented immigrants to fulfill their dreams. We have been able to educate many individuals, give undocumented immigrants their voice, and fundraise for scholarships that will hopefully help people fulfill those dreams. At the end of the day, I hope that I-CAUSE is able to touch the lives of many and inspire others.


SantiagoJailine SantiagoExecutive Vice-President: My name is Jailine Santiago, and I am currently the Vice-President of I-CAUSE. I am a junior majoring in Latinx Studies and Political Science. I have been involved with I-CAUSE since my freshman year. It has been a very humbling and empowering experience to be able to be part of an organization that does so much for undocu/DACAmented students on campus through fundraising, advocacy, and education. Being from a mixed status family has motivated me to organize and be vocal about the resources that immigrants deserve, and that institutions often do not offer, which has driven me to be involved with I-CAUSE.


Salgado-EspinoSelena Salgado-Espino • Vice-President of Education: I am from Chicago, IL and a second year in Human Development and Family Studies. I am on a pre-med track and intend on attending Medical School. I am involved in Movimiento Estudiantil, I serve as chair for the Education pillar in I-CAUSE, and a representative for the Latinx SCPF board. I am currently part of the student staff at La Casa Cultural Latina. I would say that my favorite part of being involved with I-CAUSE is being able to advocate and help educate our community on how to be an ally to DACA and Undocumented people.


CastanedaAndre Castañeda • Vice-President of Activism: My name is Andre Castaneda, I was born in Mexico City, Mexico, and I moved to Chicago at the age of 2. I am a senior studying Political Science here at U of I. I am involved on campus as a member of the equal opportunity and inclusion committee, and I am also the VP for activism in I-CAUSE. I joined I-CAUSE after finding out that I could make an impact on students like me. The road to get to where I am has been difficult and at times uncertain, so doing everything I can to shine some light for those in need like I was has become an important goal of mine. I-CAUSE gives me the chance to be a part of that change on my campus, and I am forever grateful for the opportunity.


BermeoAna Bermeo • Vice-President of Resource Gathering: Born and raised in Chicago. I’m a first generation, fourth-year student studying Communication and minoring in Public Relations, and I plan to continue my education and attend graduate school. I’m the president of the Latino Student Association and serve as the Vice-President of Resources for I-CAUSE. I joined I-CAUSE because I recognized that there is a population of students that needed support to have their voices heard in order to obtain the same resources and opportunities that should be given to all individuals pursuing higher education.


Diaz GonzalezDeisy Diaz Gonzalez • Undocu/DACA Mentor: My name is Deisy Diaz Gonzalez and I am a first generation, graduate student in Civil and Environmental Engineering, with a focus in hydraulic design and water resources engineering. I was born in Guanajuato, Mexico and moved to Sterling, IL when I was four years old. I am currently the Graduate Liaison for I-CAUSE and a Undocu/DACA mentor at La Casa Cultural Latina. As an undocumented student, being involved with I-CAUSE gives me the opportunity to teach the University of Illinois community about issues concerning undocu/DACAmented students and expanding access to higher education for all, regardless of legal status.


EsparzaNataly Esparza • Undocu/DACA Mentor: Hello! My name is Nataly Esparza. I’m currently a transfer student. I received my Associates in Political Science. I’m a Pre-Law first generation student majoring in Political Science and a minor in Spanish in hopes of attending Law School. I’m a James Scholar and currently the Assistant to the Director of Governmental affairs of the Illinois Student Government. I’m also an associate of the Public Relations committee of Peer & Career and a DACA mentor at La Casa Cultural. I am part of I-CAUSE because it allows me to form part of an organization that cares for the unrepresented members of our community. I-CAUSE is a safe space. The members of I-CAUSE aim to provide the undocumented and dacamented students with resources and opportunities to succeed and I love being able to be a part of that and being able to make a difference in the lives of others through it.


Kevin A. Herrera • Treasurer: Born in Durango, Mexico and grew up around the Cook and Kane County areas in Illinois. A second year in chemical engineering and a first generation college student. Apart from being the I-CAUSE treasurer, I’m also incredibly involved in the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, or SHPE, as the Activities Chair for our High School Outreach program and involved in most other committees in one way or another. I chose to be in I-CAUSE, because I’m able to give a voice to the voiceless and marginalized and be able to teach others what it means to be undocumented.


RomanDiana Roman • Recruitment Chair: I’m Diana Roman, raised in Chicago Ridge, IL but with a strong tie to El Salto, Jalisco. I’m a first-generation student majoring in Economics. As a sophomore I’m deciding between a minor in Spanish or Latino/a Studies. I am student staff at La Casa Cultural Latina, coordinating the A.C.E. mentorship program for first-year Latinx students. I’m also involved in the Latino Student Association and am the recruiter for I-CAUSE. I decided to form part of I-CAUSE to advocate for the undocumented and DACAmented community.


DiazAldo Diaz • Community Engagement Director: Born and raised in Chicago, IL., I’m a Junior at the University pursuing a degree in Communications with a double minor in Public Relations and Leadership Studies. A fun fact about me is that I love extreme sports such as skydiving! I chose ICAUSE as I became worried for family members and wanted to do my family the service of not only educating myself on what’s occurring around us every day, but being an active part in stopping the abuse migrant families are facing.


ManzoEmily Manzo • Secretary: I am from Chicago, IL. I am a second-year in the Learning and Education Studies program with a concentration in Educational Equality and Cultural Understanding, also minoring in Spanish and Latinx Studies. In addition to participating in I-CAUSE as Secretary, I’m a member of Movimiento Estudiantil, as well as interning at the University Y’s New Welcome Center through the La Linea program. I enjoy being part of I-CAUSE because I believes it’s important for everyone regardless of status to be able to have access to higher education and I-CAUSE strives to make UIUC that place by educating faculty, staff and students about DACAmented and undocumented students, in addition to fundraising for scholarships.


Di StefanoDaniella I. Di Stefano: From Hinsdale Illinois. I am a first-generation college student in my sophomore year. I am double majoring in Psychology and Global Studies on the pre-law track. I am involved with the University Y New American Welcome Center as their Legal Services Intern, as well as the Athletic Chair of the Phillipine Student Association and an active member of Alpha Phi Omega. I joined I-CAUSE because I realized that by me being sedentary in my response to the injustices that affect immigrants, I myself had become part of the problem. I-CAUSE has given me the ability to be a voice against the wrongdoings against my family, who migrated here from South America, and for those who are unable to advocate for themselves.


CabreraFrank A. Cabrera: Born in Chicago IL, and grew up in Rhode Island and Chicago. As a first-generation Freshman at UIUC, I am involved with RACs, and 100Strong. I joined I-CAUSE because I want to educate my fellow peers on supporting students from all different backgrounds to help lead for a better-united future.


DelafuenteKasandra Delafuente: Hello! My name is Kasandra Delafuente, and I am a first-generation student at the University. I am currently a Junior, born and raised in Chicago, a james scholar, and majoring in Human Development and Family Studies with a concentration in Child-Adolescence, which will benefit me in my future coursework as a Child Life Specialist. I am very interested in becoming an aid for children by ensuring they receive the best medical practices given their unique family backgrounds or life experiences. I believe in equality and services for all, no matter their race or physical aspect. Therefore, this ties into my passion for I-CAUSE and what the organization stands for. I dedicate effort and time to create and build change for immigrants and undocumented students penalized when sharing their voice due to the current unjust policies. If I can become knowledgeable about the situation and fight for positive change, then I will take that challenge, which I-CAUSE has given me the opportunity of making it a reality for these past two years. A fun fact is that I will be studying abroad in Cape Town, South Africa, for the entire Spring 2020 semester, where I hope to use what I have learned within this organization to create a positive mark there.


TorresEvelyn Torres: Born and raised for the majority of my life in Aurora, IL. I also lived in Monterrey, Mexico for 3 years. I am a first-generation student and currently a junior majoring in Political Science and minoring in Business. Aside from I-CAUSE, I am involved in Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers and I spent my first 2 undergrad years as a cadet in the Air Force ROTC program participating on the drill team and honor guard here at UIUC. I chose to become a part of I-CAUSE because I believe home is where the heart is and not where a piece of paper says you were born. I hope to continue to help others believe in this too and voice the vision that I-CAUSE has.


RiosJaslyn Rios: Born and raised in Aurora, IL. I am a junior transfer student double majoring in psychology and Spanish. Coming from a heavily latino populated community, I’ve witnessed the many struggles my people face and the lack of opportunity for achievement. Seeing the rippling struggles of undocumented and dacamented people empassions me to fight for a change, through the means of education and action. I am proudly a member of I-CAUSE because it invites unity while striving to create opportunity and hope for the undocumented and dacamented student body.


AyalaArnoldo Ayala: Hello, my name is Arnoldo Ayala, and I am Junior majoring in Political Science and Spanish! I am currently a member of the Illinois Student Government, serving as an LAS Senator, and the H.O.P.E. Department Director for Senate Leadership. I am also a member of Movimiento Estudiantil, and a Black and Latino Male Summit Planning Committee Member. Living in Aurora, IL for almost my whole life, I have seen the struggle that Immigrants face across all communities, and I want to help make a difference. I value the dedication ICAUSE has towards working with Immigrants within the Champaign-Urbana community, especially with helping undocumented folks pursue higher education through scholarships, mentoring, and creating a safe space!


SandovalMireya Sandoval: From Aurora, Illinois. Transferred to the University of Illinois in the Fall of 2019 as a Junior. Currently an undergraduate student pursuing a major in psychology and a minor in Spanish. Works as an I-Connect facilitator in I-Connect Diversity and Inclusion workshops. Favorite part about I-CAUSE is being given the opportunity to help others.


DuranChabeli Duran: Hi! My name is Chabeli Duran from Cicero, IL. A First Generation student, majoring in Graphic Design. Coming from a predominantly hispanic town with many undocumented residents even within my own family, I believe becoming an ally and being part of a change is necessary for the future of undocumented and DACA recipients. I want to help with this issue to the best of my efforts which is why I joined I-CAUSE, which is an organization that speaks and advocates for immigrants and undocumented students. A fun fact about me is that I love to exercise and I love to draw and make art.


PulidoAlondra Pulido: My name is Alondra Pulido and I’m a first-generation student from the Southside of Chicago majoring in Recreational, Sport, & Tourism Management. I’m currently doing an internship with the Walt Disney Company in Anaheim, California, as well as, taking classes and volunteering through their program! My purpose for joining I-CAUSE is to advocate and be a voice for undocumented students who deserve the same opportunities as others who are also pursuing a higher education.


Elenia Samanta Marroquin: Hello! My name is Elenia Marroquin, and I am first generation student studying for a dual degree in Political Science with a minor in Spanish and the second in Learning and Education Studies. I am currently a sophomore and a transfer student. I joined I-CAUSE because after witnessing the hardships that undocumented and DACA students face in my community, I knew that I wanted to do as much as I can to help. I believe I-CAUSE is the ideal platform to support such students because an array of opportunities and resources are provided.



Kat Carranza Bahena: My name is Kat Carranza Bahena and I am a sophomore in Political Science. I am a first-generation college student and I am also the proud daughter of Mexican immigrants from Guerrero, Mexico. I am the current VP of Resource Gathering. I grew up in Los Angeles, California, and Bolingbrook, Illinois. I joined I-CAUSE because I want to be an ally to the undocumented community and undocumented/DACA students. Growing up I saw the many barriers undocumented people faced especially members of my family and I want to do everything I can to help change that.



Jackie Conchas-Lopez: Born in Mexico City, Mexico, I moved to Chicago at the age of six. Despite growing up in a predominantly Hispanic community, I lost touch with my roots very quickly, in a sense that I was ashamed to embrace my background with others. This is because I acknowledged the negative connotations that came with my status at an early age. However, It is this same status that made me aware of the lack of affordable health-care resources available to minorities, especially the immigrant community. Similarly, it is this part of me that has motivated me to get where I am today. This year I am a transfer and a Junior, majoring in Interdisciplinary Health Sciences on a pre-med track and an I-LEAP scholar. By taking part in I-CAUSE, I hope to set free the negative mentality I grew up with about my background, learn to embrace it, and gain the tools necessary to promote health within my community.

The university is advocating vigorously against any actions that are needlessly detrimental to our university community and we pledge to be proactive in supporting all of our students, faculty, staff and visiting scholars, whether domestic or international.