Landmark bill delivers specialized support

By Jose Rivera, Advocate Staff

After being passed on the floor of the state Senate, a bill bringing student centers to undocumented students will soon become mandatory at public colleges and universities up and down California.

State Assemblywoman Blanca Rubio (D-Los Angeles), authored AB1645, which was approved by Governor Gavin Newsom Sept. 12 of this year.

In short, the bill mandates California colleges have a liaison to bridge the communication gap that exists between some immigrant students and the colleges they attend while also providing campus centers specializing in providing specific information to those students and members of their communities.

The bill provides undocumented students up and down the state greater opportunities for success and simplifies the quest of those students to attain basic access to resources like financial aid and classes.

The bill mandates student centers have additional college opportunities like financial aid, as well as extracurricular opportunities like social services, state-funded immigration legal services, job opportunities and more.

Many undocumented students in California will benefit by the bill’s passage.

They will have the opportunity to visit a location on their college or university campus that has all types of resources that will help them navigate through the higher education process.

Alondra Ramirez, who attends CCC and has yet to decide a major said, “Many people who are against it will say that undocumented students have far more help than local students, but just the fact that undocumented students can’t apply to FAFSA is a good enough reason for them to pass AB1645,”

Ramirez also said the new law will give most of her friends more learning opportunities, and would compensate for what most of the undocumented students have gone through in their lives.

“It’s small, but it’s a start,” she said. “I hope that one day it becomes a law across many other states in the U.S.”

Undocumented student rights supporter Daisy Darden said, “It’s not right that people who have worked hard their entire lives to receive education get their education and opportunities taken away by a selfish president.”