California community colleges ramp up advocacy for DACA students

The California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office, in response to President Trump’s recent decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, has declared Oct. 16-20 DACA Advocacy Week. Community colleges throughout the state are responding by hosting meetings with members of Congress and holding workshops and legal clinics for their students.

“DACA Advocacy Week provides an opportunity to join a statewide community college effort in support of a program that has protected more than 200,000 young adults in California who are among our brightest students and hardest workers,” said Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley. “DACA recipients had no control over their immigration status, as they were brought here as children. We must continue to press for an immediate and permanent resolution for these students.”

DACA Advocacy Week is a joint effort with the Community College League of California, the Faculty Association of California Community Colleges and the Student Senate for California Community Colleges.

Woodland Community College, and the Colusa County Campus, have resources for DACA students on the website https://wcc.yccd.edu/student/calworks/supportive-services/daca-student-resources/

Yuba College has resources available on its website: https://yc.yccd.edu/student/daca-students/

DACA was launched in June of 2012 to address the uncertain status of thousands of young people brought to this country as children by granting permission to stay in the United States and obtain work permits. To qualify for DACA, applicants must pass a rigorous screening, must have arrived in the United States before reaching age 16, must have resided here continuously since 2012, must be enrolled in or completed high school, and must not have been convicted of a crime and not present a threat to national security or public safety.

On Sept. 5, the Trump Administration announced the federal government intends to wind down the program pending a six-month window allowing Congress to act, and a growing coalition of educators, business leaders, clergy and public office holders are calling on their representatives to permanently preserve the DACA program and further work toward comprehensive immigration reform.

The California Community Colleges system has initiated a number of efforts throughout the year to reassure students that campuses will remain safe, welcoming places for people from all backgrounds to learn. The California Community Colleges Board of Governors on Sept. 18 passed a resolution calling on Congress to preserve the DACA program and declaring the board’s steadfast support of DACA recipients and other undocumented students in the California Community Colleges system.