Associated Students (A.S.) Senate unanimously approved a resolution on Wednesday night to support the demands of UC Santa Barbara’s Improving Dreams, Equality Access, and Success student organization (I.D.E.A.S.).
The resolution was authored by A.S. Senators Steven Ho and Brandon Mora and sponsored by fourth-year psychology major Lezli B. and fourth-year economics and accounting major Karla L.
The list of demands include hiring a full-time immigration attorney and an additional undocumented students program coordinator, providing additional financial aid options and internship opportunities for undocumented students.
I.D.E.A.S. previously presented their demands to UCSB Vice Chancellor Margaret Klawunn, but there has been “little action [taken],” Lezli said.
They will be meeting with the administration on Friday to further discuss these demands.
“We just want administration to know that it’s not just [I.D.E.A.S.] behind this. We hope that the administration sees this and sees the importance of [the resolution] because we’ve been trying to get these demands passed for a while,” Karla L. said.
The list also includes a proposed expansion of the current center for undocumented students on campus, the Monarch Lounge, which opened in April 2017.
Plans for the expansion of the Monarch Lounge include adding an additional study space, a conference room, an office for the Undocumented Student Services (USS) Coordinator, an office for the immigration attorney, a front desk, kitchen, gender-neutral bathrooms and a workspace for an USS intern.
These demands are expected to “[improve] the quality of life for undocumented students on campus,” according to the resolution.
According to the resolution, “undocumented students account for at least 800 undergraduate students” and over 800,000 Dreamers are currently affected by the repeal of DACA, putting these students in “vulnerable” positions.
The resolution also addressed UCSB and Isla Vista’s history of I.C.E. raids and the overall fear undocumented students may experience on campus.
Opportunities for undocumented students are limited because most jobs and internships require a social security number, the resolution states.
Financial aid is also limited and often doesn’t meet the needs of undocumented students, according to the resolution. The status of these students also impacts their ability to secure housing and sources of income.
“We’re glad this is a step forward to know that there are leaders of our student body supporting us,” Karla L. said.
Legal support for undocumented students on campus is available through University of California Immigrant Legal Services Center, which operates out of the UC Davis School of Law.
Attorneys from the center visit UC campuses two to three times a quarter, according to the law school’s website.
According to the resolution, the only attorney UCSB students have access to is currently located at UC San Diego and is “constantly overbooked.”
“Many of us will not be able to pursue a life in the U.S. We should equally benefit and experience that UCSB aims to provide for every student,” Karla L. said.
A version of this story appeared on pg. 3 of the March 1, 2018 issue of the Daily Nexus.