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Message Regarding DACA

Oct 5, 2022


Perhaps like many of you, I am concerned by the pending decision by the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals about the future of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).  The future of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which previously had assisted hundreds of thousands of young people to obtain the opportunity to legally work in the United States is at risk and may likely soon be repealed. This looming action directly affects many of our students and others within our community at the State Center Community College District. Our students and their families may be feeling an extra heaviness or uncertainty during this time. 

It is our hope that our college campus communities know that those students and families impacted by these decisions have the support of our district whatever the outcome may be. We should not wait until a decision is announced to tell students that they can trust us and that we are here for them. 

As Interim State Chancellor Gonzales has shared, “They are losing faith in DACA and they do not know who to trust. Since the pandemic, we saw a 32% enrollment drop (statewide) of AB 540 students at California Community Colleges and as you know, undocumented immigrants were amongst the hardest hit by COVID-19 illness as they joined essential work and the frontlines of this pandemic. Many lost loved ones and are still grieving from their loss.” At State Center, since the pandemic, we have lost nearly 38% of our AB5 40 students. 

If any student has an uncertainty towards the upcoming decision, they should know that every institution within SCCCD has a Dream Resource Center to readily assist them in both their academic and interpersonal needs.  We also have a MOU with the United Farm Workers Foundation that grants legal advice at no cost to our students and staff.  Psychological Services are also available to provide any mental health support.

The Colleges of State Center will be hosting events during the third week of October during the annual Undocumented Student Action Week (USAW) and sharing their support for undocumented student success. Your efforts in building a collaborative culture among administrators, faculty, staff, and students is greatly appreciated. Indeed, that is why this year’s State theme is “Juntos Podemos: Collaborative Ecosystems that Support Undocumented Students.” Throughout the week, you will hear from your College Presidents and colleagues about how you can support our students.

California is one of the few states that offers comprehensive access to state based financial aid and institutional scholarships to our undocumented population by means of applying for the California Dream Act Application (CADAA), which assists with tuition and educational costs. Here is the link for the CA Dream Act:

With DACA benefiting and allowing students to thrive and contribute to their community, amongst all the other accolades to the positives this program has given us, we remain hopeful that it will continue for years to come.

As always, I am grateful for your kind and caring approach to education.

Dr. Carole Goldsmith