In the wake of this year’s presidential election, immigration status is on the mind of many undocumented students here at PCC. Superintendent Vurdien, recognizing this apprehension, sent an email out to the PCC student body on Nov. 10 reaffirming the administration’s dedication to providing access to education to all of its students.
What is causing such an upset is the proposed changes to immigration laws that President-Elect Trump has been campaigning all year long. After his surprising win on Nov. 8, many undocumented California residents are worried they will be cut off from financial resources (The Dream Act), temporary job opportunities (DACA), or worse, deported.
Under the California Dream Act (Assembly Bills 130 & 131) signed by Governor Brown in 2011, undocumented students are now able to apply for in-school scholarships at California universities as well as state funded financial aid, according to KPPC’s Leslie Berestein Rojas.
The California student aid commission confirms any undocumented person applying for the Dream Act must first qualify for Assembly Bill 540, meaning a student has been a resident of California for at least three years of highschool and graduated or obtained a GED and attended a combined three years of elementary, middle, and high school.
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Act, or DACA, is an executive order put in place by the Obama administration in 2012 that allows a temporary work permit and residency, but must be renewed every two years according to an in depth article by ABC’s Serena Marshall.
Marshall discloses in her the article the possibility that the information handed to DACA by undocumented residents could be handed over to immigration authorities, because they are both held under the Department of Home Security.
In an impromptu meeting held by PCC’s United Without Borders, faculty member Javier Carbajal assured students that even if President Obama’s Executive order DACA is discontinued, the California Dream Act will not be, though its funding may be reduced.
Because DACA was an executive order, the incoming Trump administration has the eminent power to overturn the act, which it has expressed the power to do so, therefore leaving thousands of undocumented residents in limbo.
In the same United Without Borders meeting, Carbajal expressed his doubt in the continuation of DACA by stating, “DACA extended…that for me at the moment…is pretty much off the table.”
Despite the worries that undocumented students may currently have, their place at PCC is said to be received with open arms.
“Pasadena City College will provide a welcoming environment to all its students, regardless of their immigration status,” said Superintendent Vurdien.