Immigration issues for students were discussed at a forum presented by United without Boundaries and By Any Means Necessary’s known as BAMN on Feb. 6.
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Immigration issues for students were discussed at a forum presented by United without Boundaries and By Any Means Necessary’s known as BAMN on Feb. 6.

Speakers discussed the applications for financial aid, scholarships and the Dream Act. The deadline for scholarship applications due on Jan. 18 was extended through Feb. 13.

Maria Rodriguez, Rehabilitation Services and president of United Without Borders, said the college is not where it needs to be. “The point is that [officials] didn’t make these adjustments at the time necessary. Now, us as undocumented students have to rush,” Rodriguez said. “PCC is not moving as fast it should be moving. Other colleges in California have granted their Dream Act money. However here at PCC we have not seen that money. The Dream Act money for Fall 2013 will be up.”

Undocumented students are encouraged to submit applications for the Dream Act before the March 2 priority deadline despite glitches.

In an interview, Assistant Dean Kim Miles said the college is encouraging students to participate. “There have been a few hiccups along the way because it is new,” she said. “The application launch was delayed, [and] there been some issues with the information from the application and how the California Student Aid Committee is processing them. We’re doing everything we can to encourage Dream Act students to participate in all of the financial aid programs.”

At the forum, speakers expressed how immigration rights should improve and how students can make a difference.

Lead attorney of BAMN, Shanta Driver, spoke passionately to students at the forum. “ [For immigrant rights], undocumented students have been the strongest fighters, the boldest fighters, the most consistent fighters, the people who refused to sit down and shut up…What you do matters most,” she said.

According to Rodriguez, United Without Borders is continuing to fight for the voices of undocumented students to be heard. “We are still pushing to make [PCC] a better campus not just for certain students but for all students,” she said.

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