California Community Colleges declare ‘DACA Advocacy Week’

FILE PHOTO: College of the Canyons students hold signs supporting the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals as they listen to speakers at a rally for the policy in th Honor Grove on Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017. Katharine Lotze/The Signal

On Monday, the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office declared this week as “DACA Advocacy Week” for its 114 college campuses.

The declaration comes a little more than a month after the Trump Administration announced it would be rescinding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

This program—which protected “Dreamers,” or those brought to the United States as children, from deportation while they attended school or obtained employment with a valid work permit—impacts more than 200,000 individuals in California.

Under the Trump Administration’s decision, Congress has until March 5, 2018 to find a solution for the program or allow it to expire in five months.

Through “DACA Advocacy Week,” California Community Colleges Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley said community colleges statewide are working together to support these students through legislative action.

“DACA recipients had no control over their immigration status, as they were brought here as children,” Oakley said in a statement.  “We must continue to press for an immediate and permanent resolution for these students.”

During DACA Advocacy Week, community colleges throughout the state are hosting meetings with members of Congress, holding workshops and legal clinics for students, and calling on representatives to work toward comprehensive immigration reform, according to Oakley.

The week is a joint effort between the Community College League of California, the Faculty Association of California Community Colleges and the Student Senate for California Community Colleges.

This is not the first time the California Community College system initiated efforts to reassure its DACA students and staff.

In September, the Board of Governors passed a resolution declaring its support for the DACA program and other undocumented students in the community college system.

At College of the Canyons (COC), Chancellor Dianne Van Hook announced Sept. 6 that the college would continue to provide benefits to DACA recipients and would follow the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office guiding principles toward undocumented students.

Later that month, on Sept. 13, COC students and staff held a #DefendDACA rally to educate the public about the DACA program and voice its support for students currently under the DACA program.

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