SAC Students Convince Board of Governors to Expand DACA Resolution

The California Community College Board of Governors will request for Congress to provide immediate and permanent legal protections for more than 10,000 undocumented community college students.

In a Sept. 19 meeting at Santa Ana College, the board discussed an original resolution, which urged the safeguarding of students part of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

Strong student testimony convinced the board to expand the resolution to shield all undocumented people in the state, board president Cecilia Estolano said.

Two SAC students, Maria Zacarias and Manuel Gonzalez, spoke during public comment.

“Our fellow undocumented community members are affected by this. If a student’s parents get deported, that student will no longer just be a student, they end up being the primary caretaker,” said Zacarias. “If a student’s family member or younger sibling get deported, they will have to figure out how to help their parents or single parent cope with this and figure out how to maneuver through the legal system.”

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California is home to over 2 million unauthorized immigrants, according to the Public Policy Institute of California. About 250,000 of them reside in Orange County.

Estolano said SAC was chosen to host the recent Board of Governors meeting because its members wanted to engage with the students.

For the first time, the board met on campus for two consecutive days to discuss multiple topics regarding California community colleges.

The Board of Governors Fee Waiver will be renamed the California College Promise Grant beginning in 2019.

The board announced plans to minimize the required number of accumulated units to earn an associate degree from 87 to 79.