SCCCD backs undocumented students

Fresno, Calif. - Tuesday night area community college leaders passed a resolution to protect the future of their undocumented students. In 2012, President Obama took executive action allowing certain undocumented immigrants who entered the country as minors to temporarily avoid deportation. The program is known as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program and many fear President-elect Trump may do away with it.

"DACA beneficiaries on our campuses have been exemplary student scholars and student leaders," said Lucy Ruiz, spokesperson for State Center Community College District. 

But those undocumented students attending classes at Fresno City College and other campuses are nervous. Many of them unsure of their futures because President-elect Donald Trump vows to cancel executive orders made by President Barack Obama. One of those executive orders, the DACA program that allows undocumented immigrants who entered the united states as children the opportunity to temporarily avoid deportation.

"We've had questions yes. I think all of our counselors. The dreamers we call them in our current programs are asking questions about what does this mean? What could this mean," said Dr. Paul Parnell, SCCCD Chancellor.

Tuesday night State Center Community College District board members pushed back against any plans President-elect Trump may have to get rid of the DACA program by passing a resolution affirming their stance on undocumented students.

"I'm proud to be a part of a governing board where locally we are saying the immigrant community, DACA students continue to have a place at Fresno City College and every campus that we serve," said SCCCD Board Trustee Miguel Arias.

Dr. Paul Parnell the district chancellor says he wants President-elect Trump to know backing undocumented students pays.

"Over $75 Billion they have the potential to contribute to our gross domestic product and if the GDP is going up by $75 Billion it sounds like a good deal to me and something the new president would support," said Dr. Parnell. 

National estimates show there are as many as 225,000 undocumented students enrolled in college. Fresno area community colleges say they will continue to welcome them with open arms. 

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