DREAM Act workshop helps students apply for school

Gabriela Rodriguez

The California Dream Act workshop is dedicated to helping undocumented CSUN students fill out their financial aid application for the 2014-2015 academic school year.

The workshop was presented by the the Dreams to be Heard organization in conjunction with the Financial Aid and Scholarship Department.

Jesus Juvenal, a member of the Dreams to be Heard organization said, “The club’s mission is to educate undocumented students and give financial support when they have no where else to turn to.”

The California DREAM Act, which stands for Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors, was passed in 2011 and is meant for undocumented students who are categorized under Assembly Bill 540 and have attended school on a regular basis. Angela Chuan-Ru Chen, a guest speaker at the workshop said people who have U-1 nonimmigrant status (U Visas) also qualify.

U Visas are given to victims who have suffered physical or mental abuse from human trafficking, domestic violence or other crimes.

Juvenal said that a stereotype about undocumented students is that it is only a Hispanic issue.

“It isn’t only a Hispanic issue, but also an Asian issue, an African-American issue and has become a larger issue in the recent years.”

He said, in the past year at CSUN there have been 400 undocumented students that have been accepted for the DREAM Act out of 900 that applied. “What this means is that there are students that either didn’t know about this special opportunity or they tried to apply but weren’t accepted,” Juvenal said. “It is our goal to create a resource center so that undocumented students can get help.”

One of the students at the workshop, Zulay Saldan?a said she has gone to other DREAM Act workshops before.

“I came to the the workshop to get more information about financial aid for the new year.”

The deadline to apply for the DREAM Act is March 2. Another workshop will be held at 2 p.m. in the USU Grand Salon.