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Thursday, October 22, 2020

Undocu-Day provides immigration resources

With new laws put in place by the Trump administration, people have been forced to have important conversations about the future of undocumented immigrants in the United States.

Pierce has joined in the talks by hosting Undocu-Day to educate students and provide resources to those who need it.

Groups of high school and college students gathered in the Great Hall to discuss the state of undocumented students in California on Saturday, May 19.

Keynote speaker Francisco Rodriguez, the LACCD Chancellor, spoke about the state of the DACA program and resources undocumented students across the San Fernando Valley have to help in achieving their educational goals.

“Your ancestors before you imagined that, one day, someone in your family would go to college and do something really important and make a contribution to your society. That someday is today,” Rodriguez said

Undocu-day was sponsored by Blatigenous, IDEAS, MECha, Student Equity, Resist and Dolores Huerta Labor Institute. It also featured many professors from the History, Philosophy and Sociology Departments.

Julio Tsuha, a sociology professor at Pierce College and an advisor to the Blatingenous club, spoke about how the event’s message is gaining traction around the campus and the community.

“It promotes a message that we are here for undocumented students. I think it’s a big thing, and it’s gonna help a lot,” Tsuha said. “The main thing I wanted everybody to understand was that this is a safe space, that everyone is welcome and everyone is included. Everyone has a place.”

Tsuha said the student body was heavily involved in the creation of the event and praised clubs and administrators for their involvement.

Xochitl Medina, founder of the I.D.E.A.S club, said she has worked with many faculty members in organizing Undocu-day. She said it is important to have an event where people can be better informed about certain issues.

“I developed this club because, with everything that was happening with undocumented students in this community, I didn’t see any services or resources. I started this club to show our community at Pierce College that we support undocumented students,” Medina said. “It shows they have support from the faculty, other students, programs, organizations and resources to help them for the future.”

Medina said that she hopes this year’s Undocu-day will be the first of many and that other high schools and colleges can become involved as well.

Joshua Yadegar, a Reseda High School student, said he didn’t know about Undocu-day, but was happy to have learned information that applied to him.

“We learned about undocumented immigrants and how the DACA program is being taken down by Trump’s administration, and how even Obama’s sanctions can’t keep it above water. But, most importantly, we learned that we have a community that supports us.” Yadegar said.

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