LOS ANGELES — Mayor Eric Garcetti today announced a grant program for qualifying Los Angeles community college students going through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) application process. The grants will cover both initial and renewal application fees, allowing hundreds of young Angelenos brought to this country as children to file petitions to remain here without financial hardship.
“The decision to erode the DACA program was heartbreaking, but Los Angeles will always stand up for our Dreamers,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “DACA has given so many hard-working, ambitious young Angelenos an opportunity to pursue higher education and contribute to our City and we want to support them in staying here in Los Angeles where they belong.”
In partnership with the Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles, the Foundation for the Los Angeles Community Colleges, and the Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD), 500 LACCD students will receive a one-time grant to pay the $495 DACA application fee.
“The Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles creates partnerships to respond to moments of urgency like this, and we are proud to come together with the Mayor’s Office, the Foundation for the Los Angeles Community Colleges, and the Los Angeles Community College District to help these deserving students,” said Mayor’s Fund President & CEO Deidre Lind.
“I am pleased with the District’s partnership with Mayor Eric Garcetti and the Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles to assist undocumented students with paying the DACA application fee,” said LACCD Board President Steve Veres. “As this issue continues on to the U.S. Supreme Court, I am urging our students to stay focused on your educational goals. The fight for justice and democracy continues, and LACCD is all in.”
“The District’s support to cover the cost of the DACA application fee provides another assurance to our LACCD students that “you are safe here,” said LACCD Chancellor Francisco C. Rodriguez, Ph.D. “We will use all available resources to amplify the interests of LACCD to serve and protect the over 10,000 undocumented students enrolled at our nine colleges.”
To qualify for this grant, students must be enrolled at one of the nine LACCD colleges, demonstrate financial need, and attend virtual workshops that provide in depth information about the program and immigration resources. Students who qualify are also eligible to receive legal representation provided through the Central American Resource Center (CARECEN) and the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA) to assist them in filing the DACA application.
“We are fortunate to have the Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles as a dedicated partner in helping to provide support so LACCD’ DACA and undocumented students may continue to pursue educational goals,” said Michael Fuller, LACCD Director of Institutional Advancement.
The grant program will also serve as an incentive to those submitting their applications to do it as soon as possible. While the decision by a U.S. District Court in Texas stopped the processing and granting of initial applications, initial applications can be filed and current DACA recipients are able to continue submitting requests for renewal and advance parole.
For more information, students can contact the Dream Resource Center at any of the nine LACCD campuses.