Humboldt State University press release:
The California State University (CSU) today announced a systemwide plan for the provision of immigration legal services for CSU students and employees.
“I am delighted that we will be able to increase the availability of immigration legal services to the California State University community,” says CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White. “We remain committed to ensuring that all CSU students have the opportunity to pursue their higher education goals regardless of their country of origin. This inclusive foundation extends to our employees, who demonstrate their dedication to student achievement and success on a daily basis. These thousands of Californians are pursuing their dreams for a better future every day on CSU campuses. The expanded services and resources that will soon be available will bring support, legal guidance and some peace of mind to enable our students and employees to focus on academic and professional pursuits.”
Dan Saveliff, Humboldt State’s liaison for the CSU service and director of the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP), estimates there are 100 undocumented students enrolled at HSU. He says providing access to this service—available to faculty and staff, as well—will help meet a major need for the campus community.
“We don’t have immigration legal services in our region, as far south as Santa Rosa and east to Redding,” says Saveliff. “We have advocacy and support programs on campus and in the local community, but immigration law requires expertise that’s not accessible. Oftentimes students have to figure things out on their own and can receive incomplete or inaccurate information. So we’re excited the campus will have access to that expertise.”
A few days each month, an immigration lawyer from the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA) will be on campus to provide legal assistance at the EOP office. EOP will maintain a confidential calendar where appointments can be reserved in advance. While undocumented students receive priority for legal services appointments, students who are from mixed-status families (regardless of the student’s own citizenship or residency status) may also have immigration questions and are invited to make an appointment as well. Employees are also eligible for appointments.
The immigration lawyer will be available on September 16-17. For more information or to make an appointment with the lawyer, please contact EOP at 707.826.4781. For peer support and referrals to campus and local resources, students are also encouraged to contact Scholars Without Borders by visiting the MultiCultural Center on the second floor of Nelson Hall West, calling 707.826.3368 or emailing email@example.com.
Funding for the services initially was provided by a one-time allocation of $7 million from the 2018 Budget Act to the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) to implement a direct immigration legal service program on CSU campuses. California’s 2019-20 budget converted the same amount to recurring funding to maintain services. Staff from CSU’s Office of the Chancellor have been working with the CDSS to design a systemwide delivery model for implementation.
How it works:
CDSS has contracted with four providers throughout the state to deliver direct legal services to CSU campuses. The rollout of services will vary for each provider and campus based on campus needs and the capacity of immigration legal services, but is expected to be phased in over the next six months. The incremental rollout will ensure that providers have enough time to hire additional staff to serve the CSU community.
Services will be provided to 22 CSU campuses. A provider will not be assigned to California State University Maritime Academy. However, Cal Maritime students and employees will have access to the same level of support and will be invited to all immigration legal service events at neighboring campuses.
Attorneys, paralegals and/or accredited representatives from the service providers will visit campuses on a routine basis determined by the number of students that need to be served on each campus. Initially, the types of legal services offered will be limited to general consultations, DACA renewals, and general assistance in filling out forms such as family-based petitions.
CSU campuses will support the service by scheduling appointments, providing private meeting space and access to needed office equipment and services as well as help informing students about services and programming, recruiting volunteers and coordination of immigration legal workshops and education and outreach events.
Services may be added or expanded depending on need.
Who will provide the services:
Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA) will provide services for: Chico State, Humboldt State, Sacramento State and Sonoma State.
Immigrant Legal Defense (ILD) will provide services for: CSU East Bay, San Francisco State, San José State, CSU Monterey Bay, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, CSU Bakersfield, Fresno State, and Stanislaus State.
CARECEN will provide services for: CSU Channel Islands, CSUN, Cal State LA, CSU Dominguez Hills, CSU Long Beach, Cal State Fullerton, CSU San Bernardino, and Cal Poly Pomona.
Jewish Family Service will provide services for CSU San Marcos and San Diego State.
Who can utilize the services:
The CSU estimates that approximately 9,500 Cal State students are undocumented and receive AB 540 waivers across its 23 campuses. Undocumented students will receive priority in scheduling of appointments and receiving legal assistance, followed by students with other legal immigration questions and then staff.
To learn more about the rollout of services or for information about support services currently available for students and employees, please visit the CSU’s Resources for Undocumented Students website.