As students return to City College for the fall semester, some undocumented students will face the decision of whether or not to register with the U.S. Department of Citizenship and Immigration Services as part of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
Announced in an executive order by the Obama Administration on June 15, Deferred Action is a change in immigration policy enforcement that promises some undocumented students and military personnel they won’t be deported for at least the next two years—providing they register with USCIS, have no major criminal record and meet additional requirements outlined by USCIS.
To assist students facing that choice, two workshops will be held near the college including one Sept. 18 in the Cultural Awareness Center at 10:30 a.m. that will feature undocumented law school graduate Sergio Garcia. The event will also feature a Deferred Action workshop at 12:30 p.m.
Additionally, the Association of Raza Educators will held a discussion led by attorney Santiago Avila-Gomez at C.K. McClatchy High School on Sept. 14 from 6-8 p.m.
Both events are open to the public and free.
Garcia is currently unable to practice law—despite graduating from law school and passing the California Bar Exam—because of his immigration status. He is challenging that ruling in a case before the California Supreme Court.
City College English professor Travis Silcox said organizations with ties to immigrant communities have done a great job informing the public about the policy change. She mentioned the Mexican Consulate in Sacramento, which has run workshops to help people apply—regardless of country of origin—according to their website.
A full description of who is eligible and how to apply are available at the U.S. Department of Citizenship and Immigration Services website: www.uscis.gov
A more in-depth look at the Deferred Action policy and how it affects City College students will be published in the Oct. 9 Express print edition.
If you or someone you know is a City College student who is considering Deferred Action or has already applied, and you would like your story to be heard, please contact Express News Editor Matthew M. Joye at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your identity will remain confidential unless you specify otherwise.