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July 25, 2016

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California student pens guide for undocumented students

A doctoral student in California, with help from Educators for Fair Consideration, has published a guide for undocumented students who are finishing their undergraduate degrees.

The 73-page Life After College: A Guide for Undocumented Students is available for free download.

Iliana Guadalupe Perez, a first-year education doctoral student at Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, Calif. told CNN the inspiration came from her family.

"My father has always told me look for solutions instead of the problems," she told the network.

"I always try to find the solution to the problem, if this door closed, what can I do so it opens to me?"

According to the "about the author" section of the how-to guide, Perez was born in Pachuca, Hidalgo, Mexico, and came to the United States with her parents when she was 8 years old. She remains undocumented.

The guide's sections include "Going to Graduate and Professional School," "Getting Internships," "Earning a Living," "Going Abroad," "Exploring Your Immigration Remedies," "Staying Motivated: Emotional Health" and an appendix with sample résumés, tax forms and other useful documents.

In many ways the guide looks like any other how-to tome for new college graduates, covering such topics as deciding on work versus pursuing an advanced degree, traveling abroad, applying for internships and going into business for yourself. The guide also offers specific advice for undocumented students, though, such as possible avenues for obtaining legal status and how to cope with the stress and isolation of "living in the shadows."

"This guide is not only for undocumented students but for all students," Perez told CNN, emphasizing that everything in the book is legal. "This guide gives them options and it's not a guide intended to do something illegal in the system."

Educators for Fair Consideration is a San Francisco-based nonprofit organization that supports undocumented students in their education and career goals.

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