SYLMAR, CA – Following a campus forum on immigration that featured Thomas Saenz, president of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF), Los Angeles Mission College officials are working to ease fear in the undocumented student community by assuring students that their information is safe and kept private.
In recent days, college officials have heard from local high schools regarding students who are afraid to enroll because of fear that the college might share information with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). But college president, Monte Perez, PhD, says their information is protected.
“We want to make sure students know that their information is protected through the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA),” Dr. Perez said. “That means that legally, we can’t divulge that information without a judicial order or subpoena.”
During a Tuesday lunchtime forum for students, faculty and staff, Saenz addressed recent actions by the Trump administration, including memos by Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, stating that the actions are mainly intended to create fear and confusion.
“Trump is not empowered to make many of these decisions on his own,” Saenz said. “They’re overstating what they can do to convince people that they don’t have rights, but all immigrants have rights.”
Saenz emphasized that undocumented students must know their rights, not waive their rights, and know that they will be supported if they assert their rights to seek grounds for relief from removal.
L.A. Mission College invites Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) students to call 818-364-7766 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for resources and information. DACA students have access to matriculation, counseling, financial aid, and other services.
Los Angeles Mission College is committed to the success of our students. The College provides accessible, affordable, high-quality learning opportunities in a culturally and intellectually supportive environment.