California Community Colleges continue to support undocumented students

The Advocacy Leadership Immigrant Access Support and Services student club joins the week of action


Elaisa Acosta Meneses

Graphic by Elaisa Acosta, Times Staff

In support of Undocumented Students Action Week, California community colleges will present a series of virtual events to promote advocacy and awareness. The events will take place on Oct. 19-23. 

San Jose City College supports undocumented students through a program called Advocacy Leadership Immigrant Access Support and Services. It is a program within the Extended Opportunity Program and Services, and it is also a student club.

“This is the fourth year that the state of California has sponsored it, and they encourage all community colleges to participate in a week of action to draw attention to the struggles and the needs of undocumented students,” EOPS counselor Olga Morales-Anaya said. 

The action week’s virtual activities are organized and led by The ALMASS student club. The events are not just for undocumented students; it is also for the general population, students and faculty to bring awareness and ally representation. 

On a published video on the Community College League of California website, Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis and Michele Siqueiros, president of the Campaign of College Opportunity of California Community  Colleges, delivered a message to encourage others to join in support of undocumented students in California. 

“Every day they persist in pursuing their education and training goals,” Kounalakis said. “I hope you’ll join me to support undocumented students and advocating for a pathway to citizenship for all DACA recipients.”  

Kounalakis said approximately 50-70 thousand undocumented students are enrolled in the California community college system, fewer than 20% receive state aid and none receive federal financial assistance. 

Siqueiros said it is critical to ensure college opportunity exists for all Californians. 

“It is not only the right thing to do,” Siquieros said, “it’s what makes California the powerhouse that it is.”

Morales-Anaya said it is crucial to become an ally; students depend on allies to speak up for them because undocumented students are sometimes afraid. 

“Some of the challenges and obstacles for undocumented students is that although they work and contribute taxes, they are not given any federal aid to continue their education. They depend a lot on scholarship and state aid,” Morales-Anaya said.

The ALMASS Student Club will host a workshop on becoming a dreamer ally at SJCC.

Here is the calendar for the week of action activities: 2020 Week of Action-3[2]