Dreamer liason to be appointed

Bhuvaneshwari Natarajan, Staff Reporter

Assembly bill 1645 signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom will require all California community colleges to designate a “DREAMer Resource Liaison” for undocumented students on campus.

De Anza College already has existing services for undocumented students on campus, namely the Higher Education for AB 540 Students and the Vasconcellos Institute for Democracy in Action.

The liaison can help HEFAS with legal matters, said Kenny Solorio, 20, communications major.

“It is a great executive order and it is great that they are encouraging every community college to do serious support work for undocumented students,” said Cynthia Kaufman, director of VIDA.

The assembly bill would allow De Anza to do more than with the limited resources they currently have, she said.

“The executive order is ambitious but comes with no money whatsoever, which is disappointing,” Kaufman said.

Kaufman said that the office will have to ask De Anza for more resources to “accomplish that much larger mandate.”

“The role could or could not be related to HEFAS or VIDA. HEFAS is mostly student run although it is recognized as a center of De Anza College and should continue to be,” Esquivel said. “HEFAS has no way for us to reach out to over 1000 undocumented students at De Anza but this position may help.”

According to the California Community Colleges Dreamers Report, undocumented students are considered one of the most vulnerable populations that need help. These students need increased financial aid, legal services, and mental health support.

“The position looks good on paper, but the execution would not be the best as the overall structure is not in place yet,” Solorio said. “It does not come with any compensation and should be a full time position that comes with benefits.”

He said that having a liaison for undocumented students working with VIDA and HEFAS can greatly help with transcripts, policies and administrative work.

“Anybody can be an advocate for undocumented students, but this is not like a job,” Miguel Lira Romo, 19, political science major said. “The person needs to understand the needs of these students.”