SMC, School District, City Join Forces as Deadline Looms for DACA “Dreamers”


Via Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District press release.

With the Trump administration’s August announcement that it was rescinding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, Santa Monica College, Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District, and the City of Santa Monica are working together to support students, alumni, and residents affected by the ruling.

So far, more than $35,000 in donations has come through fundraising campaigns created by the Santa Monica College Foundation and SMMUSD. And at last night’s Santa Monica City Council meeting, the Council unanimously voted to approve another $25,000 in matching funds to join in supporting those who meet DACA’s renewal qualifications and who need assistance with the $505 fee for the application, due by October 5, 2017.

“Santa Monica leaders are committed to our DACA students, and our Council vote allows us to offer matching funds to spur community donations and make sure every Santa Monica DACA student is able to renew if qualified, regardless of financial need,” said Councilmember Kevin McKeown. “City Hall joins with Santa Monica College and SMMUSD in sending a unified message that DACA students are and always will be a part of our community. We will work to keep you with us now, and in the long term.”

Echoing this strong support for student dreamers, Dr. Kathryn E. Jeffery, SMC Superintendent/President and Dr. Ben Drati, SMMUSD Superintendent reaffirmed their commitment to providing school-aged students with access to educational opportunities without regard to their immigration status or that of their parents.

“Santa Monica College stands with hundreds of other educational and business organizations in affirming that our ‘Dreamer’ students are an integral part of our community,” said Dr. Jeffery. “We remain committed to helping them fulfill their life’s dreams and aspirations; this college will continue to be a safe environment for all students and personnel.”

“We want to make sure that any of our students who would like to apply for renewal are able to do so confidentially, and this support and process provides for that,” said Superintendent Dr. Ben Drati.

SMMUSD has set up its own fundraising campaign with over $6,000 raised so far.

The SMC Foundation has reached out to its past donors and the college community, asking for immediate assistance to SMC dreamers facing unforeseen financial burdens in reapplying for DACA. The $15,000 goal was quickly met and the Foundation matched an additional $15,000. With the City of Santa Monica and SMMUSD contributions, the total is now more than $60,000.

DACA is a program established by President Barack Obama in 2012 that grants a form of temporary protection from deportation known as “deferred action” to undocumented immigrants who came to the United States before the age of 16, have resided in the United States since 2007, and meet other requirements.

Lizzy Moore, Dean, SMC Foundation, said, “We are very grateful to the many volunteer attorneys who are helping our students with the DACA renewal process. These workshops and free legal aid are a testament to the value that our community places in providing safety and security for our ‘Dreamers’–not only building a future for themselves but a better society for all of us.”

Dreamers can request a DACA renewal appointment through SMC now through October 5.

Donations can be made to any of the following funds:

For SMC Student Dreamers.

For SMMUSD Student Dreamers.

For Santa Monica Resident Non-Student Dreamers.

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