On Sept. 5, United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced his office is bringing the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) to an end, leaving 800,000 hopeless and fearful.
President Donald Trump announced a six-month phase out.
DACA allows undocumented young people to apply for work permits and defers deportation.
Delta College and California Community Colleges officials responded the plan to end DACA with support for undocumented students.
“While it is unclear what actions Congress will take in the next six months related to DACA, I want to reaffirm San Joaquin Delta College’s unwavering support of ALL of our students, especially those who are undocumented. Neither a students’ immigration status nor their religion should ever affect their ability to access and benefit from a Delta College education,” said President/Superintendent Dr. Kathy Hart in an email sent out Thursday by Dr. Lisa Cooper Wilkins, assistant superintendent vice president of student services.
Hart outlined campus procedures to follow, including encouraging undocumented students to sign up for the spring semester and not releasing immigration status to Federal agencies.
The Associated Students of Delta College will host a rally on campus to offer support and provide information at 12:30 p.m. on Sept. 13.
The location of the event was unavailable as of press time.
Because of Delta College’s large population of immigrant students and DACA recipients, the Board of Trustees vowed in a resolution last December to protect all students.
Delta College is one of the 114 Community Colleges in California, educating more than two million students.
Community College Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley along with University of California President Janet Napolitano, California State University Chancellor Timothy White, President of Association of Independent California Colleges, Kristan Soares and Universities and California Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Torlakson have sent a letter to California’s Congressional Delegation urging them to take action protecting their students.
Ortiz Oakley specifically in an independent letter, called the Trump administration’s decision “heartless” and “senseless.”
“… we remain committed to serving and supporting all students, regardless of immigration status, and seeing that they reach their full potential. We will stand with our students, and we will not give into fear,” he wrote.
The joint letter from California educational leaders made it clear, “communities are safer and our economy is stronger when all students have access to a world class education.”
DACA was put into action by the Obama Administration in 2012.
California has its own Dream Act, which allows undocumented students brought to the state under the age of 16 to apply for scholarships and aid, if specific requirements are met.
It was enacted in 2011 and is not impacted by the DACA decision.
The news was immediately met with millions coming out to support all DACA and immigrant students. Rallies have already happened across the United States.
Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs reaffirmed the city’s support of DACA.
“History will not judge kindly, not only the actions taken by this president, but the lack of actions taken by those of us who remain silent. We who believe in the promise of America; that believe a great nation treats ‘the foreigner among you like a native born,’ that our country is at its best when everyone is given an opportunity to contribute, must continue to speak out and urge for comprehensive immigration reform and for the rights of Dreamers,” he posted to Facebook as part of a larger statement.
Hart’s statement also encouraged DACA recipients and others impacted to take advantage of student services, including the counseling center in the DeRicco Building or the office of Student Equality and Diversity located in the Science and Math Building in rooms 341 and 342.
An attorney from the California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation (CRLAF) will be offering free legal assistance by appointment on the Delta campus in September and October.