Bakersfield College officials said Thursday’s Supreme Court decision on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program will allow immigrants brought to the U.S. as children to thrive, work and continue their education in the country they call home.

“This decision is significant for our Bakersfield College students. It means they can continue to focus their energy on successfully completing their degrees without the burden of not knowing where to call home,” said President Sonya Christian. “Our administration, faculty, and staff work alongside our undocumented students to create a space and support systems to ensure their academic and personal success. In a time of so much uncertainty, it is meaningful to have a win for young adults who have fought to earn their place in this country.”

Bakersfield College serves 2,189 undocumented students, the college said. The Undocumented Student Program (USP) is an expanded part of BC’s Extended Opportunities Programs and Services Program.

In 2018, BC’s undocumented support programs received a grant from the Immigrants Rising nonprofit through its Catalyst Fund. With this private fund, BC developed the Conexiones Estudiantiles Project led by Latinos Unidos Por Education — BC’s undocumented student organization. LUPE introduces undocumented students to organizations, such as Immigrants Rising and the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights, Los Angeles, that inform undocumented students about laws governing their rights around DACA. BC also offers a dedicated space and staffing to specifically serve undocumented students.

Bakersfield College has partnered with the California Community Chancellor’s Office Foundation and the United Farmworkers Foundation to provide legal services to students and their families seeking support submitting their citizenship applications or who may have questions related to the immigration process.

Ema Sasic can be reached at 661-395-7392. Follow her on Twitter: @ema_sasic.

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