Category: In the Media
Read what we have done this year to transform fear and uncertainty into hope and opportunity for undocumented young people nationwide.
“Their parents encourage them to keep their heads low, not share their stories, not speak out about immigration issues,” said Katharine Gin, executive director of Immigrants Rising, a San Francisco-based advocacy organization that works with undocumented youth. "Especially if they’re not from Mexico or other parts of Latin America, no one suspects them of being undocumented.”
“We basically had a piece of legislation that gave us a purpose — gave us energy,” said Dean Santos, who works at Immigrants Rising, a San Francisco nonprofit that helps undocumented young people achieve their career and educational goals. DACA “helped define us and started getting some of us involved in fighting for our rights. But honestly, there’s still not enough involvement.”
Reflection on the historic day, the strength of the undocumented youth movement, and what we can do next while we wait for the decision.
"Now that Governor Gavin Newsom has signed AB 1645 into law, California Community Colleges are required to expand resources for undocumented immigrant students. However, there is one major problem with this law: the lack of funding to implement...Earlier this year California Community Colleges reported that only 35 of the system’s 115 community colleges have Dream Resource Centers. The existing centers are supported by a combination of the colleges’ own funding as well as external dollars."
Immigrants Rising is leading the research agenda on immigrants and entrepreneurship in America, along with its UndocuHustle program, which supports immigrants on their path to small business ownership with pitch competitions and mentoring.
Currently, 35 of the system’s 115 community colleges have Dream Resource Centers, according to a report on undocumented students published earlier this year by the California Community Colleges. The existing centers are supported by a combination of the colleges’ own funding as well as external dollars. For example, the California Campus Catalyst Fund, an initiative that supports undocumented students, helps fund centers at colleges including Chabot College in Alameda County, Oxnard College in Ventura County and San Diego Mesa College.
Iliana Perez, a DACA recipient and director of research and entrepreneurship at the San Francisco-based organization Immigrants Rising, wrote a comprehensive guide on life after college for undocumented students. Perez said the biggest challenge she sees with being an undocumented independent contractor is developing an entrepreneurial mindset for creating income-generation opportunities.
At each of his concerts, Alejandro Sanz has met with a group of DACA recipients, undocumented immigrants, and their parents. Not only has he held private meet-and-greets, he is also raising funds through the sale of a “DREAMER” t-shirt for three organizations that benefit DREAMers: Dream Big Nevada’s DACA renewal fund, Immigrants Rising’s entrepreneurship program, and a college scholarship program, The Ascend Educational Fund.