Thursday, October 2, 2014
UC Davis Opens Center for Undocumented Students, Law School's Immigration Clinic to Provide Legal Assistance to Undocumented Studentsenter
With the new quarter starting today, UC Davis has opened a new AB540 and Undocumented Student Center. AB 540 refers to a California state law, passed in 2001, that exempts students from paying nonresident college tuition (which is costlier than resident tuition) if they have attended a California high school for at least three years, graduated from a California high school and met other requirements.
The AB 540 and Undocumented Student Center will offer undocumented students community, coordinate resources for them, and support their success. Building on the efforts of students over the years, students, including members of SPEAK (Scholars Promoting Education Awareness and Knowledge), a student-run organization that supports undocumented students, last year drafted a proposal for a center and began discussions with campus leaders. In fall 2013, UC President Janet Napolitano announced a $5 million initiative to enhance student services and financial aid available to undocumented UC students. UC Davis is receiving $500,000 to serve its estimated 200 undocumented students.
The new center will offer academic and financial advising, and access to counseling services. It will also advocate for undocumented students and raise campus awareness about their concerns. Through a partnership with the School of Law's Immigration Law Clinic, the center will offer free immigration-related legal services including representation in immigration court or before immigration agencies; and workshops for preparing applications for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, naturalization and other forms or immigration relief. Professors Leticia Saucedo and Amagda Pérez have taken leadership roles in expanding the Immigration Law Clinic's services to include legal assistance for undocumented UC Davis students.