AB540 Summit Explores Ways to Assist Undocumented Students

AB540 Summit Explores Ways to Assist Undocumented Students

Photo by: Jonathan Stevens

Raul Moreno, Coordinator of University of Migrant Services at Fresno State speaks to district faculty about emerging legislation that is affecting undocumented students at the various state college campuses.

Story By: Patrick Forrest, Reporter

Employees from the California State University and University of California system along with the State Center Community College District gathered in the Fresno City College Old Administration Building to discuss ways to assist undocumented students at the community college level.

According to statistics from the financial aid office, approximately 750 undocumented students attend FCC.

“These are students  who may not receive a lot of parental support but may get parental opposition, ” said Perry Angle, director of the TRIO program at FCC.

Angle added that most of these students live “in the shadows of society.”

Raul Moreno, Coordinator of University of Migrant Services at Fresno State gave background information on all of the bills that make up the California Dream Act Legislation.

The original legislation, AB540, has been expanded upon with multiple pieces of legislation that have been signed.

The latest bill, SB 1210, allows eligible undocumented students in the UC or CSU system to receive up to $4,000 in student loans per semester.

“These are laws, a lot of them have been hidden,” Moreno said. “If we don’t know enough to explain to them what is going on, who will?”

A Reedley College counselor who attended the event shared stories of some complications that undocumented students may run into when applying for college.

She shared examples that explained how each campus uses different criteria in order to determine whether or not a student qualifies as an AB540 student.

Trustee John Leal, who was in attendance, addressed this issue by stating that administrators at each of the campuses within the SCCCD should come together and discuss a more consistent implementation of  AB540s criteria.