Fresno State has begun providing immigration legal services for students and employees, along with other California State University (CSU) campuses.
The new services provided throughout all CSU campuses were made possible by a one-time state allocation of $7 million.
Fresno State is working with Immigrant Legal Defense, which is one of four providers contracted with the California Department of Social Services to deliver expertise and information.
“As the coordinator of the Dream Success Center, I wanted to make sure I provided services that are meaningful to our students to help them navigate their education and their future career process, and this is one way we assist all students,” said Gaby Encinas. “It is important to me that students feel supported and valued on this campus.”
The Center began offering its free immigration legal services on Sept. 16.
Students, faculty and staff have the opportunity to consult with attorneys and also hear a presentation and learn about issues that Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) students currently are facing.
The services can vary from receiving confidential consultations to DACA renewals to immigration remedies, all depending on what the individual may need.
As of right now, Fresno State shares eight attorneys with Cal State East Bay, San Francisco State, San Jose State, CSU Monterey Bay, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, CSU Bakersfield and Stanislaus State.
Fresno State may see anywhere from two to three attorneys twice a month. Based on the needs of the campus, the visits may increase in frequency.
Encinas said that to help students graduate, knowledge of available resources is key.
“Our goals are to retain and graduate all our students. For our students, often times they may lack the resources of the networks,” Encinas said. “This is a network that they have available to their disposal. It’s all to help them remain in school and graduate.”