Weeklong workshops provide aid to undocumented students

By Alex Kwasniza, Staff Writer

The Undocumented Student Week of Action is a week of advocacy and activities to support and build awareness for undocumented students and will be observed at Contra Costa College next week from Oct. 15-19.
Over the course of the week, CCC will have a special theme for each day highlighting the different challenges of being an undocumented student and giving help and support toward dealing with those issues.
Not only that, but during the following week on Oct. 25, there will be a free Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) workshop from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. for all undocumented students on campus or in the community.
The event will help students renew their DACA for free and give legal support toward navigating the renewal process.
“They don’t have to pay a single penny. All they have to is just bring the paperwork they need,” ASU Activity Coordinator Pavan Johal said.
DACA is an immigration policy that allows deferred action against the removal of people who were brought to the United States illegally as a child, according to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services website.
Activities on Oct. 17 will feature a special multicultural night to celebrate and highlight all the different backgrounds and cultures of students attending CCC.
Student Life Coordinator Joel Nickelson-Shanks said, “We are a Hispanic serving institution, but also we’re going to highlight that Hispanics aren’t the only population that includes the undocumented. We have a large population of international students and other students who are going through the same things.”
Undocumented Student Week of Action will be “extremely important” for undocumented students, he said.
Johal said, “Personally, right now I don’t have a lot of faith in the current (U.S.) government so I feel like there is a lot of uncertainty with people who come here to California to do their studying. I think this is an important week and an incredibly important event that everyone should be more aware of and more supportive of.”
Monday activities will include the college helping undocumented students learn how to access and pay for higher education. There will also be a scholarship drive hosted by the Financial Aid Office to engage undocumented students in different ways to fund their education.
On Tuesday the college will host training and seminars on the legal rights of undocumented students.
There will also be a special town hall for CCC students Oct. 18 as well as support groups and training for mental health assistance to aid undocumented students going through difficult times. Oct. 19 will feature an art advocacy event displaying examples of how to creatively express one’s undocumented status.