Undocumented immigrants attending the University of California at Berkeley may soon have a designated safe space on campus, as well as an $800,000 fund to address their financial needs.
School Chancellor Carol Christ announced the plans Tuesday, the Daily Californian reported.
She had met with Luis Mora, a junior at the university who was detained in December by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for overstaying in the U.S. on a visitor visa issued in 2009, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
The school's proposal, called an “Undocuaction Plan,” aims to help students who participate in DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), the Obama-era program that delays deportation for people who came to U.S. illegally as children. Mora came to the U.S. from Ecuador.
Christ hopes to have the undocumented student resource center in place by March, with plans to eventually create a permanent space, the Daily Californian reported. In addition, $800,000 in funds has been set aside for one semester of the 2018-19 academic year, in which undocumented students who no longer have DACA status can receive $2,500 in basic needs grants.
Students who are not undocumented are eligible for $1,500 in basic needs grants, with an additional $50,000 allocated for “special cases,” the Daily Californian reported.
“I really think it’s a very generous program, but there are other ways that it could be improved to be more fair for everyone,” Mora told the newspaper. “Nothing can be achieved at once. … The little impacts, the little victories are going to eventually take us to the path that we all want to be on.”
“I really think it’s a very generous program, but there are other ways that it could be improved to be more fair for everyone.”
Mora suggested on-campus work opportunities as a better solution, but told the newspaper he's grateful nonetheless for how the school is addressing the undocumented community.
The proposal still needs approval from the UC Office of the President, the Daily Californian reported.