Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Thursday that 500 community college students in Los Angeles will receive a grant to pay the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) application fee thanks to a partnership between the Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles, the Foundation for the Los Angeles Community Colleges and the Los Angeles Community College District.
The district’s nine colleges have about 10,000 undocumented students, according to Chancellor Francisco Rodriguez, who said, “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.”‘
One of the goals of the program is to incentivize students to apply for DACA status as soon as possible. U.S. District Court Judge Andrew Hanen, in Houston, ruled the program unlawful earlier this month. The judge ruled that the Department of Homeland Security is temporarily prohibited from approving new applications, but it may continue to accept them.
“The decision to erode the DACA program was heartbreaking, but Los Angeles will always stand up for our Dreamers,” Garcetti said. “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.”
Students must be enrolled at one of the nine LACCD colleges, demonstrate financial need and attend virtual workshops with information about the program in order to qualify for the one-time $495 grant, the mayor’s office said. Qualifying students are also eligible to receive legal representation through the Central American Resource Center and the Coalition for Humane Immigrants Rights, which can help students file the DACA application.
“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 and CEO Deidre Lind.
Students interested in applying for a grant can go to the LACCD’ Dream Resource Center at any of its nine schools. A list of locations is at https://bit.ly/3f9TKDi.