With the increasing ICE raids in the Bay Area, undocumented immigrants are taking extra precautions as they go through their daily routines. Due to the Deferred Action of Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) changes, SF State has taken the initiative through the student Dream Resource Center –– created in 2017 –– to provide support for undocumented students.
Through referrals, the DRC provides professional opportunities, financial aid resources, connections to legal support and informational workshops, as well as counselors at campus to help undocumented students succeed in their education despite the legal concerns they face in their daily lives.
DRC has recently informed students on the procedures they should take to protect themselves if they or any family or friends are encountered by ICE agents. An additional resource the DRC recommends is the Northern California Rapid Response Network, which provides financial and legal support to communities in Northern California through the jurisdiction of San Francisco immigration court.
SF State student Gisele Huerta, an undocumented junior French major, is a transfer student from Los Angeles. She explained how she is no stranger to hearing about ICE raids and how SF State –– her new home –– has made her feel safe and have given her a sense of community among other marginalized groups.
“To be honest, I didn’t know about [the raids] until Norma (the SF State AB 540 Dream Coordinator), she sent an email telling us about it. I do have a little bit of experience [with] some raids because there’s been a lot of those back there [L.A.],” Huerta said.
Huerta feels safer on campus because of the sense of community it provides for her.
“If something like that happens then you can ask around,” said Huerta.
Huerta also expressed that she would like to see more workshops and resources offered to continue to help students understand what to do if ICE stops them in the streets or knocks on their doors.
Business administration major Elfy Arrizon said she stopped keeping up with the news and expressed the disappointment and frustration that she feels when she hears negative stories about immigration. She heard about the ICE raids through an email that was sent to all DACA and undocumented students.
“To be honest, I turned myself off from all media news,” Arrizon said. “I didn’t want to deal with it … when they mentioned that DACA was going to end … I was like I’m not listening anymore.”
However, she gets her news from unlikely sources.
“I like comedy news shows so they ease my drama into little snippets and then it’s bearable,” said Arrizon.
Despite the circumstances, students like Arrizon refuse to give up in a battle she –– like many other students –– have been fighting for since they stepped into this country. Both Arrison and Huerta have agreed that staying informed is a precious skill to have for many undocumented students.
“I’m at an age where I refuse to go back to not existing basically, so it doesn’t really scare me. Being informed really helps to be brave and to know that no matter what it’s going to be okay whether it’s in this country or another,”said Arrizon. “I mean, we came here with nothing, I can certainly do it over and over so it’s fine.”
For further assistance, visit the Dream Resource center located on the Student Services building in office 206. If you need resources outside of campus, visit Northern California Rapid Response & Immigrant Defense Network.