(San Francisco, CA)—California has launched the Higher Education Legal Services Project, an unprecedented campaign to provide California Community College students with free immigration legal services and support, including immigration consultations, eligibility screenings, and case management. By making these services accessible and available for free, students affiliated with the state’s largest college system gain access to trusted legal support to avoid exorbitant legal fees and potential fraud.
Common immigration legal services and support offered includes, but is not limited to, eligibility screening for different immigration options, support with DACA renewals, family-based petitions, and citizenship/naturalization requests, and funds to cover DACA filing fees.
The Higher Education Legal Services Project will help the estimated 70,000 undocumented students as well as students of other immigration statuses enrolled in California Community Colleges to navigate complicated immigration processes. The California Community Colleges system has the largest number of undocumented students in the nation, by far. Faculty and staff working at the California Community Colleges are also eligible to receive immigration legal services. Students can go to this link for more information and to sign up for a free appointment with a legal services provider at the California Community Colleges.
“In alignment with the goals set forth in the Vision for Success and our commitment to remove barriers for students who have been historically underserved, the Foundation is honored to play a key role in the expansion of resources for our students and colleges that support undocumented individuals,” said Alonso Garcia, Special Projects Manager at the Foundation for California Community Colleges, the organization leading the Higher Education Legal Services Project at the California Community Colleges. “As a system that embraces diversity and welcomes all students, we march forward to ensure all students are empowered, protected, and have access to the opportunities they need to thrive in their academic journeys.”
With $20 million in support from the California Legislature, the California Department of Social Services has joined forces with the Foundation for California Community Colleges and the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office to bring in nine nonprofit organizations with expertise in providing legal services to support students with their immigration legal needs. The immigration legal service providers have developed scheduling, intake, and reporting processes that ensure student information remains confidential and protected.
About the California Community Colleges:
The California Community Colleges is the largest system of higher education in the nation, composed of 73 districts and 116 colleges serving 2.1 million students per year. California community colleges provide career education and workforce training; guaranteed transfer to four-year universities; degree and certificate pathways; and basic skills education in English and math. As the state’s engine for social and economic mobility, the California Community Colleges supports the Vision for Success, a strategic plan designed to improve student success outcomes, increase transfer rates and eliminate achievement gaps. For more information, please visit the California Community Colleges website or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.