They confronted myriad challenges to do so, but hundreds of undocumented students across the country graduated college this weekend — with more still to do so. And to highlight their accomplishments, many are posting their graduation photos on social media. 

Online, the hashtag #undocugrad trended on Twitter and Instagram as undocumented students expressed pride in obtaining their degrees. 

“When my school discovered I was undocumented, my scholarship & in-state tuition were taken away,” one Twitter user, camila, wrote. “I told my papi that I was going to drop out & work instead. My papi told me he’d cut his arm off before I dropped out. We made it work. Today I graduated & he’s why.” 

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“This degree is OURS,” another wrote. “Papi worked very hard to help me pay for my education. Mami was always there to remind me that I could do it. They both sacrificed a lot by leaving everything behind so I could have a future.” 

According to statistics from the nonprofit Educators for Fair Consideration, an estimated 10,000 undocumented immigrants graduated from college in 2017 — many of whom benefited from the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that President Donald Trump has vowed to eliminate. 

The Migration Policy Institute, an independent think-tank, estimated that there currently 241,000 undocumented immigrants enrolled in college. 

Read More: The Faces Behind the Figures: 5 Dreamers Share Their Hopes and Fears

Even for those who do attend college, undocumented students have been shown to suffer from significantly higher levels of anxiety, isolation, and discrimination than their peers.

Global Citizen campaigns on the Global Goals for Sustainable Development, and access to quality education is goal number four. You can join us and call on congress to support the Global Partnership for Education here

But the brave students who have joined the #undocugrad are showing that education can be attained, even when confronted with the most challenging of circumstances. Here are some of the most powerful posts: 


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These Graduation Photos of Undocumented Students Will Give You Hope

By Phineas Rueckert