Centers to provide aid, resources for Dreamers

By Luis Lopez, News Editor

A new collection of Dreamer centers may open on campuses across the Contra Costa Community College District as soon as fall 2020 if a proposal is approved by the Governing Board.

The centers at Los Medanos, Diablo Valley and Contra Costa colleges would provide academic counseling and serve as an informational resource center for students who may be part of the Dream Act or undocumented.

It would also be open to members of the community.

Associated Student Union Vice President of Clubs Ricardo Sanchez proposed the idea at the Governing Board meeting last month. Sanchez said he learned about other Dreamer centers and it inspired him to learn how to set one up on campus.

“I learned that campuses across the state had dreamer centers and I thought that was something that could be really good for our campus,” he said.

The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act (DREAM Act) was a bill in the U.S. Congress that granted temporary asylum to certain undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children.

Since it was passed by the Obama administration in 2014, a whole generation of students is entering the education system without much academic guidance.

Helping undocumented students is something close and personal to Sanchez. He said a Dreamer center at CCC would be exponentially helpful for undocumented students and community members alike.

“Being an undocumented student myself, I felt this was something necessary for undocumented students on campus,” Sanchez said.

First semester business major Christian Hans said a Dreamer center would be a perfect addition to the college.

“The campus would really benefit from an informational center like that,” he said. “I’ve known classmates who are (DACA students) so it’s good to know they’ll have a place on campus that can provide them with information.”

Supporting the center is CCC Student Life Coordinator Charles Ramirez, who said the center would be great for the community.

Assembly Bill 1645 was signed by the Governor Gavin Newsom shortly after its birth.

The bill mandates a Dreamer center to be created at every public college or university in California. The bill would open the center up for funding through fundraisers and donations to the school.

Student Yada Sitiprawet, who has yet to decide on a major, said she likes the college’s continued effort to be an all-inclusive campus.

“This campus has a lot of diverse groups and clubs so having a Dreamer center, I believe, adds to that.

“I think it will be a very successful center that will benefit a lot of undocumented students and community members.”