It is a tumultuous time to be an undocumented student, with the ever-present looming threat of DACA protections being revoked. During what can be a frightening time for many, communities are fighting to raise awareness for any assistance and protection they can offer. Las Positas is no exception.
Some students may not know the resources provided by California Assembly Bill 540. AB 540 states that if a student is undocumented, has completed high school in California and meets eligibility requirements, they can be exempt from paying a non-resident tuition. However, students have to apply for this in order to take advantage of it.
Allies at Las Positas want to to raise awareness so undocumented students have everything they need to succeed, and the district publicly is standing firm in defense of these students. Many departments and learning communities on campus are also trying to do everything they can to help.
DACA students, otherwise known as “Dreamers,” that have not applied for AB 540 are not eligible to be considered for financial aid.
This can be detrimental for students who want to go to school but don’t know about their options.
Last December, the Chabot-Las Positas College Community College passed a joint resolution to label itself a “sanctuary district,” a symbol of its dedication to protect students in commonly targeted people groups. While AB 540 provides a state-wide guarantee, sanctuary schools do not offer all of the vows that enforce Las Positas’ stance of protection.
The district has promised to refuse actions such as voluntary cooperation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) without a warrant or subpoena, considering denying students admission based on immigration status, and ever releasing any information that would identify students in particular groups. Some of these identified groups include DACA students, LGBTQ, females, Muslims, and other minority ethnicities.
When the Board of Trustees voted unanimously to pass this resolution, Las Positas became a dedicated ally to undocumented students; hence the signs you might notice around campus.
A massive part of their alliance is getting the word out about opportunities such as AB 540, but without student participation, it means nothing.
“The state regulations allow the schools to qualify a DACA student as a California resident for fee purposes but they are not eligible for financial aid unless they… have AB 540 status,” Financial Aid Officer Andi Schreibman said. “I am actually working with [the Admissions and Records department] to reach out to students because having the wrong status can prevent the student from being eligible for [financial aid].”
While these opportunities exist on campus, it’s highly likely that not every student is receiving the help needed for their circumstances. If you have questions or would like to apply for AB 540 provisions, visit the Financial Aid office or Admissions and Records.