By Maddison Champagne and Marilu Cisneros
The Runner Staff
The immigration justice collaborative held a forum, Feb. 21 at CSU Bakersfield. The collaborative consists of 16 attorneys specializing in immigration, education, domestic violence and others.
Community members, university representatives and students attended the event.
“I’m glad that they were giving that sort of information to the community, especially those who aren’t too aware of their rights,” said public policy administration Christian Lopez.
Some students raised concerns about whether to renew Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals immigration policy or not. The attorneys advise all, who already have DACA to renew as soon as possible.
But for those who will be applying for the first time they advise not to do so.
“If you’ve never had DACA, then it’s probably not a very good idea to apply because you will be disclosing a lot of personal information to the government,” said immigration lawyer Edyta-Christina Grzybowska-Grant. “Because this is just a policy, this is not a law, there are no statutory or regulatory confidentiality provisions attached to it.”
Attorneys reminded DACA recipients that this status can be lost, if they are convicted of a crime or are suspected of involvement in a crime. They also advise them to avoid any contact with law enforcement since this could result in contact with Immigrations and Customs Enforcement.
“If you come into contact with ICE through a raid, be sure to show your DACA card, your paperwork and speak with an attorney,” said attorney Emily Milnes.
Questions about a possible Muslim registry were also asked. Muslim law attorney Mai Shawwa said she doesn’t know what President Donald Trump would consider a Muslim and has advice for all.
“If that becomes the case, I advise you all to register as a Muslim,” said Shawwa.
Attorneys advise people to be prepared and share their personal information with someone they trust in case they are taken by ICE as well as carrying the business card of an attorney.
CSUB’s Provost Jenny Zorn said the school will not provide any information about the legal status of any students to anyone.