An August press release by the California State University (CSU) system announced the official actions the system will take to ensure support of all CSU undocumented faculty and staff.
The 2019-2020 California Department of Social Services budget changed the one-time payment of $7 million into a recurring fund that is set to extend to 2024. These funds will be used to contract direct immigration legal aid and programs to all 23 CSU campuses.
The decision is spurred by the Trump administration’s recent attack on the Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
If DACA is terminated, this would rescind work authorizations and deportation protections for DACA and Dreamers alike.
According to worldrelief.org, the loss of legal protections would impact about 800,000 people living in the United States.
The Dreamers bill would support citizenship access if an individual is actively attending college, maintaining a job or serving in the U.S. military. These are specifically individuals who came to the country as children and are attempting to gain citizenship or legal residency.
On Nov. 12, the U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments against the White House’s actions to terminate.
The Court plans to review recent federal court cases and ultimately decide the future of DACA sometime before June 2020.
A fourth-year mechanical engineering student recently took the U.S. citizenship exam to continue her studies in the U.S.
She has lived in the U.S. since she was 13 years old but this year marked the expiration of her permanent residency card, otherwise known as a green card.
Due to her citizenship status, this student asked to remain anonymous.
Even though the cost was outside her budget, to stay she could either renew her permanent residency card or apply for citizenship.
“I am technically illegal right now, and I have been for the past month,” she said. “Just reading in the news that (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE) can knock on your door, I was really scared about that.”
The recent budget boost allows Cal Poly Pomona to join with the Central American Resource Center (CARECEN) for accessible, free legal aid to students and faculty in similar positions.
CARECEN has worked to defend the human and civil rights of immigrants residing in the Los Angeles area for over 30 years.
Their lawyers, paralegals and legal assistants will routinely visit CPP on Wednesdays between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. to offer consultation appointments where students and faculty can receive the best legal options for their case.
According to the National Immigration Law Center, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is no longer accepting new applications for DACA, but under California legislation the service is required to accept renewals.
Elda S. Rosales and Andrea Garcia are legal assistants working out of the CARECEN’s San Bernardino office. The legal team, along with the Bronco Dreamer’s Resource Center, understand the varying needs of the CPP community and are working tirelessly to meet them.
“We are really trying to offer a holistic type of approach,” Rosales said. “So, if a student also needs counseling and mental health services or need their basic needs met, we are working on a compiled list (of resources).”
While CARECEN’s services are free of charge, the application fees are up to the client to pay. In the case that one cannot, there are options to help. CPP has a basic needs budget that allocates an emergency fund that can assist on a case-by-case basis.
This can be discussed with the Bronco Dreamers Resource Center.
Mecir Andre Ureta Rivera is the coordinator for the Bronco Dreamers Resource Center.
His center is working with CARECEN and offers access to these resources but also for student ally resources as well. This includes multilevel Dreamers ally trainings and workshops.
Demanda Estudiantil Para la Igualdad Educaciona (D.E.P.I.E.) is an organization to lift undocumented voices and promote positive awareness on the CPP campus.
CARECEN is hosting a Know-Your-Rights Workshop during U-Hour on Wednesday, Sept. 25 in the Lyra room in the Bronco Student Center.
Garcia will be speaking and welcomes everyone to attend and to ask any questions.
“A great way to be an ally is to inform yourself on how you can help, how you can use your privilege to possibly protect someone if they’re in a situation involving ICE,” Garcia said.
To make a confidential appointment with CARECEN’s legal counsel, go to usscpplegal.youcanbook.me.
The Bronco Dreamers Cultural Center and student services are located in Building 26, room 101 and can be reached at 909-869-2728.
D.E.P.I.E. meetings are held every Thursday during U-Hour in Building 5, room 130.
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