In an effort to aid undocumented students accepted to UCLA, the college’s student government has announced the allocation of $100,000 towards its’ Undocumented Student’s Program. The goal of the funds is aimed at the retention rate for undocumented students at the California University. The announcement comes at a time where the reality of DACA has been threatened by the Trump administration and the future for so many undocumented students pursuing degrees in the U.S. remains unclear.
According to the program’s website, the Undocumented Students Program at UCLA “supports undocumented students by providing caring, personalized services and resources that enable students to reach their highest potential. Through a variety of programs, workshops, and partnerships with students, campus allies, and community stakeholders, USP strives to support all members of the UndocuBruin community.”
In March 2017, more than 1,3000 students and teachers at the university signed a petition to effectively turn UCLA into a sanctuary campus as a defense to the goals of the Trump administration. And even earlier, in 2013, the student government chose the ban the use of the term “illegal immigrant” to describe undocumented students, calling it a derogatory and racist term.
According to the campus news source, The Daily Bruin, the funds are coming from a surplus in student life fees discovered by an accounting error. The error meant that the student government now has access to three years worth of neglected funds, and unanimously voted to allocate $100,000 of the $149,000 sum towards the Undocumented Student’s Program.
In a letter to the editor of the Daily Bruin on January 25th, students stated:
“The council’s unanimous vote is significant because it showcases the importance of student voices in enacting change through student government. Like many other students across the country, we have felt compelled to support our community members in the wake of President Donald Trump’s repeal of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Our effort to better fund USP was necessary to address challenges many of our friends and classmates face because of the Trump administration’s immigration decisions.”
Students are now calling on UCLA’s administration to follow student leaders’ example and put their money where their mouth is when it comes to issues facing undocumented students.