Community, Students Rally For Undocumented Immigrant Rights

Photo: UC Berkeley students and community members held a rally on Friday in support of undocumented immigrant issues, such as ending ICE raids and passing the DREAM Act.
David Herschorn/Photo
UC Berkeley students and community members held a rally on Friday in support of undocumented immigrant issues, such as ending ICE raids and passing the DREAM Act.

Related Articles »

  • Printer Friendly Printer Friendly
  • Comments Comments (0)

About one hundred UC Berkeley students and community members chanting, "We are here, and we're not leaving," rallied on Sproul Plaza Friday in support of migrant workers for International Workers' Day.

Participants voiced their concerns for migrant issues, including ending ICE raids aimed at deporting undocumented immigrants and passing the DREAM Act, which would grant financial aid to non-California residents, many of whom are undocumented.

According to the 2006-07 Annual Report on AB 540 Tuition Exemptions, there are 357 students who are not California residents that receive in-state tuition on campus and 1,639 systemwide. If the act passed, these students would be eligible for financial aid.

The report also states that of the students who identify as non-California residents, there are 73 potentially undocumented students on campus and 455 in the entire UC system.

Participants mentioned two undocumented campus staff members who worked at Clark Kerr Campus that were detained and expected to be deported.

A UC Berkeley student at the rally, who requested anonymity because she is undocumented, said one reason she came was to support the act, which was reintroduced to both federal and state congresses in March.

She said she is not allowed to study abroad or receive financial aid from the state because of her status.

"I'm not able to get financial aid, which puts an extreme burden on my family, even though we have to pay taxes," she said. "That money's going to other students, but it's not going to me."

Campus spokesperson Marie Felde said Chancellor Robert Birgeneau is "a great supporter" of the act because education gives undocumented students a path to citizenship.

"He believes it's important that students not be penalized for how they were brought to this country," she said. "They excel through college (and) should have the opportunity to attend."

But Jiesi Zhao, president of the Berkeley College Republicans, said that although she supports educating undocumented students, she disagrees with giving them in-state tuition.

"That's kind of unfair if out-of-state students have to pay so much more, while undocumented students have a special advantage," she said.

Freshman Aurora Castellanos, a member of the indigenous student political activism group Xinachtli, said this year's rally is different from those of previous years because there is greater hope for success with issues such as the act under President Barack Obama's administration.

"We want to ensure that we are putting migrant rights out, especially now that we got a new president," Castellanos said. "We want to make sure that we are holding (Obama) accountable to the promises he was making to the migrant communities."


Contact Melani Sutedja at [email protected]

Comments (0) »

Comment Policy
The Daily Cal encourages readers to voice their opinions respectfully in regards to both the readers and writers of The Daily Californian. Comments are not pre-moderated, but may be removed if deemed to be in violation of this policy. Comments should remain on topic, concerning the article or blog post to which they are connected. Brevity is encouraged. Posting under a pseudonym is discouraged, but permitted. Click here to read the full comment policy.
White space
Left Arrow
Image Pet shop may occupy planned Goodwill
After failed negotiations with the landlord and resistance from the busines...Read More»
Image Sports bar to open on Telegraph Avenue
About three months ago, Larry Blake's Restaurant and Bar was boarded up aft...Read More»
Image City proposes major cuts to budget
Amid a grim national, state and local economic recovery forecast, the city ...Read More»
Image State Cinemark to provide captioning
Captioning systems will be installed in all Cinemark movie theaters in Cali...Read More»
Image Presentation shows downward trend in crime rates, ...
A presentation given by the Berkeley...Read More»
Image Former campus doctor faces charges
A former UC Berkeley health center doctor was charged Wednesday by the Alam...Read More»
Right Arrow

Job Postings

White Space