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Contra Costa College Stands with Undocumented Students

As of January 13, 2018 due to a federal court order, United States Customs and Immigration Service (USCIS) has resumed accepting requests to renew DACA. As a result, the DACA policy will operate on the terms in place before it was rescinded on September 5, 2017. Individuals who were previously granted DACA may now request renewal.

NOTE: USCIS is not accepting requests from individuals who have never before been granted DACA. USCIS will not accept or approve Advance Parole requests from DACA recipients.

On September 5, 2017, it was announced that the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program that was created under President Barack Obama would be terminated pending a six-month delay to allow Congress to take action.

While the Trump administration has announced its decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, Contra Costa College stands with undocumented students, and wants to assure the CCC community that campus will remain a safe place for all.

In a legal memorandum issued September 5, 2017, Jacob Knapp, Acting General Counsel for the California Community College Chancellor’s Office, stressed that:

It is important to note that today’s decision on the ‘unwinding’ of DACA does not impact a student’s ability to attend our college, qualify for an exemption from non-resident tuition fees under AB540, or to apply for financial aid under the provisions of the California Dream Act. AB540 and the California Dream Act are state programs that are entirely separate and distinct from DACA and the federal enforcement of immigration laws.

There are many resources available to students impacted:

  • The East Bay Community Law Center will be hosting a free legal clinic for people whose DACA work authorization cards expire on or before March 5, 2018. The event will take place from 4 – 7 p.m. on September 28, at 2921 Adeline Street in Berkeley. Anyone who wishes to attend should leave a message at 510.548.4040 to set an appointment. You will be asked to bring a current work authorization card, any previously filed DACA application forms you have, your social security number and 2 passport-sized photos. They will help pay your $495 filing fee.
  • Students whose DACA status expires on or before March 5, 2018 are urged to apply immediately for this scholarship to cover the cost of the $495 renewal fee. If you attend CCC or any California community college, CSU or UC school, you just need to fill out an online application and provide documentation that your status expires before that deadline. Scholarship applications will be processed the same day they are submitted. Once a student has qualified, checks made out to the Department of Homeland Security will immediately be made available in the San Francisco area and by overnight mail in other parts of the state.
  • A list of related events, including free renewals, is available from Ready California.
  • A comprehensive resource guide has been released by the California Immigrant Policy Center.
  • Students are also encouraged to come by the Counseling Center in Student Services Center, Room 108 or call 510-215-3935 for counseling.
  • Counseling is also available through the Student Wellness Program, which can be reached at 510-215-3960 or wellness@contracosta.edu.
  • As stated above, the California DREAM Act is still in effect. You can learn more about what’s covered under that law from I Can Afford College.
  • A guide to Frequently Asked Questions for Undocumented Students is available from CCC.
  • A community advisory, What Do I Need to Know About the End of DACA?, has been released by the Immigrant Legal Resource Center.
  • And a list of non-profit organizations offering legal help to immigrants is available from the California Department of Social Services.

In a statement issued on September 5, 2017, CCC President Mojdeh Mehdizadeh joined Chancellor Fred Wood, Diablo Valley College Interim President Ted Wieden and Los Medanos College President Bob Kratochvil in denouncing the decision to end DACA and re-committing to  protect and support undocumented students.

“We remain committed,” Wood said, “to doing our part by providing the education and training all of our students need and want.”

In January 2017, the Contra Costa Community College District board voted 6-0 to to protect undocumented students, as reported by the East Bay Times:

The district will withhold students’ personal information from federal agencies like U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and retain existing financial aid policies for undocumented students. The resolution approved Wednesday night makes several assertions, including that the district will protect students ‘who meet the minimum requirements for admission, regardless of immigration status.’ No personal student information, the resolution says, will be released without a judicial warrant, subpoena or court order, or that student’s permission.

This post will be updated as more information becomes available.