Fremont, Calif., October 13, 2020—The Ohlone Community College District joins California Community Colleges and its partners across the state for Undocumented Student Action Week, October 19-23, 2020, in an effort to advocate and provide support services for undocumented students throughout our system.
This year’s action week, while virtual, serves as an opportunity to highlight the challenges our undocumented students face in today’s political climate and amid COVID-19. This week serves as a vehicle to advocate to Congress about the financial and moral actions needed to be taken to ensure the safety of undocumented students. We urge Congress to take immediate legislative action on important federal policies and provide resources to better assist educators and undocumented students directly on our college campus.
“We are excited to have this dedicated week to advocate for some of our most vulnerable students as well as to let them know that we are here for them,” says Ohlone Community College District Superintendent/President Dr. Eric Bishop. “Our undocumented students add to the fabric of our culture and our system and contribute positively to our community in ways many people do not realize and are counter to the narrative that has been perpetuated.”
Since President Trump’s 2017 announcement to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, the status and safety of undocumented students on our campus has been uncertain. On June 18, 2020, by a vote of 5-4, the Supreme Court ruled that the Trump administration could not proceed with its plan to end DACA, thereby upholding the program. However, lack of action by Congress on pivotal immigration legislation, as well as Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids and detentions over the last couple of years, have only caused more fear among our undocumented student population.
As the nation’s largest post-secondary education system serving the largest number of undocumented students within the state, California Community Colleges (CCC) are committed to serving all students, regardless of immigration status. The Dreamers Project Report discusses the state of CCC undocumented students, incorporating findings from a landscape analysis to identify shared challenges in serving this vulnerable population. Recommendations about how to better serve undocumented students, paired with promising practices already underway, are provided here for implementation at the individual, group, and institutional levels for systemic change that benefits California. When undocumented students are able to pursue education and careers, they can create new, brighter futures for themselves, their families, and their communities.
Undocumented Student Action Week is supported statewide by California Community Colleges, the Foundation for California Community Colleges, the Community College League of California, the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges, the Student Senate for California Community Colleges, California Student Aid Commission, Immigrants Rising, and the California Undocumented Higher Education Coalition.