Writer's note: The next paragraph has been rewritten because one forum was held LAST Friday night, not tonight.
Rancho Santiago Community College District, whose board recently adopted a resolution reaffirming support for all students regardless of their legal immigration status, sponsors an “Understanding Your Rights” forum from 1-3 p.m. Saturday in the Centennial Education Center, 2900 W. Edinger Ave., Santa Ana.
The session is free and open to students as well as the general public. Parking is also free.
“We are launching these forums to inform our students and hopefully ease their anxiety,” explains Raúl Rodríguez, RSCCD's chancellor. “The Rancho Santiago Community College District will continue to support all our students, including our undocumented students. We will stand firmly behind FERPA regulations and protect our students’ confidentiality. We remain resolute in our mission to provide all our students access to quality educational programs and services that address the needs of our diverse students and communities.”
Attendees will hear about their rights from a panel of expert immigration attorneys and have their concerns addressed and questions answered. Information presented will include: recent developments with immigration law, including DACA; students and community members’ rights when encountering members of law enforcement; and California laws and policies affecting immigrants, including community college students.
The Board of Trustees of the RSCCD—which includes Santa Ana College and Santiago Canyon College and serves the residents of Anaheim Hills, Orange, Santa Ana, Villa Park and portions of Anaheim, Costa Mesa, Irvine, Fountain Valley, Garden Grove and Tustin—on Monday joined an increasing number of colleges and universities across the U.S. reaffirming support of all students.
This was done through the unanimous vote for Resolution No. 17-06, which urges President Donald Trump to continue the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which grants “Dreamers”–people who were brought to this country as children by their parents–the ability to continue their education without fear of deportation.
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“California and the United States are stronger due to their contributions to our economy, to our communities and to our Armed Forces,” reads the RSCCD resolution, which also reasserts the district’s commitment to following the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the California Education Code that govern the privacy of student records.
The resolution also states that “...absent legal authority, the district will not: allow federal immigration officials on campus; act on behalf of federal agencies to enforce immigration laws or aid in deportation; and share student records containing immigration status with immigration officials."
“It is important that we tell our students that we support them,” says RSCCD Board President John Hanna. “We want to reassure all of our students that our campuses and educational centers will remain safe and welcoming places for students of all backgrounds and national origins regardless of their immigration status. They are each valued members of our diverse student population. This diversity is what makes our college district and our colleges special and we will continue to protect it.”
For more information about the immigration information forum, call 714.241.5700.