While Donald J. Trump’s victory in the Nov. 8 presidential election continues to prompt many of California’s school districts to circle the wagons against some attempts by the federal government to enforce immigration laws, one Valley community college district has chosen another way to support “undocumented students.”
Although not going so far as to declare its campuses “safe havens,” at its meeting on Dec. 13, trustees of the State Center Community College District passed a resolution in support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
President-elect Trump has announced his intention of doing away with DACA after his inauguration.
DACA was created in 2012, through an executive order by President Obama, to protect young people from being deported who have been brought illegally to the United States. Recipients of the program must be in school or working.
DACA applicants must have entered the United States before their 16th birthday and must have been under 31 years old as of June 15, 2012. They must also have lived continuously in the United States since June 15, 2007, and must either be enrolled in school or have earned a high school diploma.
Persons who meet the age qualifications may also be eligible if they have been honorably discharged from the United States military.
Anybody having committed a felony or a significant misdemeanor is ineligible for DACA as are those who pose a threat to national security or public safety.
Although DACA does defer the threat of deportation, it does not provide a recipient with lawful status that would lead to citizenship.
DACA applicants are charged $495 at the time of enrollment and with each two-year renewal.
In its resolution, the SCCCD board noted that DACA assists its students in their efforts to graduate, obtain better jobs, and to pursue higher education.
The SCCCD resolution states that DACA has increased the wages of its graduates by 42 percent and that it has the potential to increase California’s Gross Domestic Product by $75.8 billion.
California has one-third of the nation’s DACA recipients