College of the Desert Reaffirms Support and Resources for DACA Recipients Following Appeals Court Ruling

College of the Desert is stepping up efforts to highlight resources available to undocumented students, following a recent appeals court ruling that once again put the DACA program in limbo.

Last week, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit upheld a lower court’s ruling that found the program illegal.

The program protects approximately 600,000 young immigrants from deportation. Those who currently have DACA can renew their status, but new applications are on hold as the legal battle unfolds.

It’s a lot of uncertainty for students like Jesus Vargas, whose application is pending. However, he said his family was keeping him going. “They always give me hope every day,” Vargas explained.

Rubi Becerril-Gonzalez is a counselor at College of the Desert and helps students at the Dreamer Resource Center.

Rubi Becerril-Gonzalez, Counselor at Desert College

She herself is a DREAMer who works to help other undocumented students navigate life as such.

“I am also a former college student. I got help so I could graduate from here, transfer, and eventually go on to graduate school,” Becerril-Gonzalez said.

Although undocumented students are receiving help through the Dream Act, the resources available to them are limited. This is where the Dreamer Resource Center comes in.

“For undocumented students, they can qualify for AB 540, which will exempt them from non-resident tuition, which means instead of paying $250, they will pay $46,” Becerril-said González.

COD Superintendent/Chair Dr. Martha Garcia released a statement following the recent court ruling:

Dear Roadrunner Community,

Earlier this week, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued a ruling that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program violates federal law. The decision is deeply concerning for our university community. The continued threat of terminating the DACA program has caused continued stress and uncertainty for those the program was intended to protect – many of our students and employees. At College of the Desert and the heart of California Community Colleges, we believe that everyone has the right to pursue their academic and professional goals, regardless of national origin, race or creed, identity or citizenship status. ‘immigration.

The Fifth Circuit’s decision does not change the status quo that prevents new DACA applicants from applying. However, it does provide a window of opportunity for current or recently expired DACA recipients to reapply while a review is pending in the lower court.

The College is committed to providing resources to our students, our robust Dreamer Resource Center serves as a hub to serve a resource to students. We encourage faculty and staff to refer students to the Center by contacting Counselor Rubi Becerril-Gonzalez at [email protected]

The Center offers the following:

  • Free immigration legal services through our partnership with TODEC Legal Services;
  • Mental health support through the Student Health and Wellness Center;
  • Dedicated space with computer access, printing, office, lounge;
  • Dedicated counselor to help with studies, registration, personal and professional orientation;
  • Dedicated scholarship opportunities;
  • Assistance in completing financial aid applications;
  • Information center for regular information updates for undocumented students.

For additional resources to help support all undocumented community colleges in California, visit this section from the Chancery’s website.

Over the past ten years, the DACA program has protected hundreds of thousands of undocumented students from fear of deportation and supported an educated population and advanced socio-economic stability for historically marginalized populations. DACA recipients are woven into the fabric of our community and play vital roles in our community as physicians, educators, essential workers and more.

Although the fate of the program is ultimately beyond our control, we will continue to support our valued Roadrunners. Know that College of the Desert is firmly committed to the belief that the undocumented community has a place at the College. We will continue to welcome and serve our entire campus community.

We will continue to follow this case as it moves through the justice system, and we are committed to providing information and identifying resources for our undocumented community.

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