June 18, 2020

DACA Protections Upheld, SMC Supports Undocumented Students

Dear SMC Campus Community,

Santa Monica College is celebrating today’s Supreme Court decision to uphold DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), a program established in 2012 that provides qualifications for educational grants, work permits, and protection from deportation to nearly 700,000 recipients throughout the nation. In California, there are 183,460 DACA participants, many of whom are students at community colleges.

At SMC, this ruling means many members of our community can continue to safely live, work, and study in the United States.

We celebrate today’s ruling and our fight continues until permanent protections are provided. We stand in solidarity with our undocumented students, who are diligently pursuing educational opportunities to achieve their academic goals in the country. 

SMC is proud to be an advocate for undocumented students. In response to President Donald Trump’s 2017 announcement to end DACA, SMC established the Undocumented Ally Program to support undocumented students through a network with more than 200 allies drawn from SMC faculty and staff. In 2018, SMC established the DREAM Program to assist students with applying for DACA participation and renewal, and also to provide support, education, and resources. 

“The DREAM and UndocuAlly programs applaud the decision on DACA by the Supreme Court. The decision clearly affirms that the administration can’t arbitrarily end a program that would harm 700,000 hard-working individuals without providing compelling justification and without consideration of the consequences. And while there is still more work to do to make sure DACA isn’t in jeopardy and to advocate for a comprehensive federal immigration reform bill, today we celebrate with all DACA recipients and the undocumented immigrants that will now be able to apply for the program for the first time,” said Nick Mata, SMC’s Associate Dean of Special Programs.

SMC also has a club called Improving Dreams Equality Access and Success (IDEAS) where undocumented students and allies can share space, advocate, and plan activities.

Through the DREAM Program, SMC students have access to free immigration legal services. Appointments can be made at Central American Resource Center (CARECEN). For more information, visit www.smc.edu/dream

Kathryn E. Jeffery, Ph.D.