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Peralta Colleges Continue Unwavering Support for Undocumented Students

14 October 2019

Back in December 2016, out of deep concern that the newly elected president of the United States would soon remove the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) protections for undocumented residents granted by President Obama via Executive Order in 2012, the Peralta Community College District in Oakland, CA became one of the first community college districts in the country to state its support for DACA with Resolution No. 16/17-24 in Support of Undocumented & Concerned Students.

Three years later, the Peralta Colleges remain committed to our undocumented brothers and sisters, parents and children, students and community.  On October 8, 2019, the Peralta Community College District Board of Trustees affirmed and adopted Resolution No. 19/20-11, which continues the unwavering support that the Peralta District and Berkeley City College, College of Alameda, Laney College, and Merritt College have for our undocumented students and their families in our community. The resolution declares October 14-18, 2019 as Undocumented Student Action Week with a range of activities intended to raise awareness and continue support for our undocumented constituents.

Here is the full text of Resolution No. 19/20-11:

WHEREAS, the California Community Colleges comprise the nation’s largest postsecondary education system in the country with 115 colleges and 2.1 million students, and is committed to providing an open and welcoming environment for all students; and

WHEREAS, the Trump Administration’s decision on September 5, 2017, to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, placed the safety, security, and educational future of thousands of undocumented students in doubt; and

WHEREAS, California Community Colleges have advocated to Congress and the Administration to preserve DACA and respect the contributions of undocumented immigrants, and on January 26, 2017, the Board of Governors passed a resolution expressing its support for DACA and firm commitment to serving all students who can benefit from a postsecondary education; and

WHEREAS, California Community Colleges stand united as a system where all students can learn, grow, feel supported and safe; and

WHEREAS, on September 18, 2017, the California Community Colleges Chancellor issued a Statement of Values and Commitment to Undocumented Students confirming that the  Chancellor’s Office will not release any personally identifiable student information without a judicial warrant, including data related to immigration status, will not cooperate with any federal effort to create a registry of individuals based on protected characteristics such as religion, race, immigration status, or sexual orientation, and will urge local governing bodies to do the same; and

WHEREAS, the Peralta Colleges and numerous community colleges reflecting the diversity of California have adopted policies and procedures consistent with protecting immigrant students, and created partnerships with community organizations to help our undocumented students access legal assistance and other services in local communities; and

WHEREAS, the Chancellor’s Office, in partnership with the Community College League of California, Faculty Association of California Community Colleges, Student Senate of California Community Colleges, and other organizations, supported DACA Advocacy Week, on October 16-20, 2017, and provided tools such as Congressional contact lists, sample talking points, resolutions, and communications to mobilize the system in support of DACA,

WHEREAS, the 2017 DACA Advocacy Week efforts resulted in local meetings with Congressional leaders, more than 700 letters and postcards sent from students to members of Congress, and a number of colleges conducted week-long activities to raise awareness of campus-based support for undocumented students; and

WHEREAS, in 2018 the Chancellor’s Office expanded the existing partnership to include, Immigrants Rising and other organizations, and sponsored Undocumented Student Week of Action, October 15–19, to inform undocumented students about all available services on campus and in local communities and empower them to access those services, and support students and allies in advocating to Congress to act quickly and establish a permanent solution for undocumented young people; and

WHEREAS, the Peralta Colleges participated in the 2018 Undocumented Student Week of Action by engaging in a week-long program of activities in support of undocumented students, and the Peralta Community College District Board of Trustees passed numerous resolutions reaffirming its commitment to support all students throughout our district, including undocumented students, which was part of the week-long program of activities and information disseminated systemwide; and

WHEREAS, despite advocacy efforts by the California Community Colleges and many other individuals and organizations in California and across the nation, the preservation of DACA and the adoption of an effective solution for undocumented students remains elusive, which places continued economic and emotional weight on students, their families, communities, and the state; therefore be it

RESOLVED that the Peralta Community College District declares October 14-18, 2019 and every third week of October thereafter, as “Undocumented Student Action Week” to work in partnership with other organizations and encourage the California Community Colleges to engage in activities supporting undocumented students; and be it further

RESOLVED that the Peralta Community College District supports efforts by our Colleges to identify and share best practices for assisting undocumented students, disseminate information to the students about how to access funding for immigration defense proceedings and referral to legal service providers, and reinforce state policies that protect student rights and privacy; and be it further

RESOLVED that the Peralta Community College District urges Congressional members to uphold California values and create a pathway to citizenship for undocumented students, which will permit them to complete their education goals and achieve their highest potential.

Our college campuses have activities associated with Undocumented Student Action Week, which is also endorsed by the Community College League of California and the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office.  Check out the activities at Berkeley City College from the Undocumented Community Resource Center (UCRC), College of Alameda, and Laney College.

Daily online webinars for Faculty and Students are also available here.

Filed under: Announcements, Berkeley City College, Board of Trustees, College of Alameda, Laney College, Merritt College, Press Release. Tagged: ,

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