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DACA legal panel gives encouragement to students

Photo by Runa Lemminn/The Runner

By Runa Lemminn

News Editor


CSU, Bakersfield reaffirmed its support for Deferred Action For Childhood Arrival students at a forum and free legal clinic held at California State University, Bakersfield on Tuesday, Sept. 26.

President Horace Mitchell assured the audience that CSUB has done just about everything they can think of to support DACA students, and will continue to do so.

“Diversity is very much a part of our DNA here at this campus,” said Mitchell.

Immigration and legal defense attorneys on the panel included H.A. Sala, Vanessa Sanchez, Win Eaton, and Edyta-Christina Grzybowska-Grant.

Topics discussed included deadlines to file paperwork, what people’s rights are concerning the police, and what is happening in Sacramento regarding DACA.

Attorney Edyta-Christina Grant said the deadline for the application paperwork to be received is October 5, so paperwork should be mailed in enough time to be stamped (in office) by October 5.

The immigration attorneys reminded the audience that it is illegal for police to stop someone simply because of the color of their skin.

Law enforcement can only legally stop someone with “reasonable cause” or a traffic violation or crime being committed. With that in mind, students were reminded not to engage in activities that would give police “reasonable cause” to pull them over.

“We see individuals driving vehicles with items hanging from their rearview mirror, rosaries, little ribbons with little saints hanging from it, that’s illegal in California. It could and often does, lead to a stop by law enforcement,” said criminal defense attorney Sala.

Tinted windows, playing music very loud, and arguments were other potential factors known to attract police attention. Sala stressed how important it is to comply with the law and not draw attention to oneself.

Attorneys agreed that if someone gets stopped, or gets a knock on their door, they need to be respectful at all times. Members of the panel said not to answer any questions, and to request an attorney.

Police cannot enter a home without a warrant, unless the individual inside gives them permission.

Assemblyman Rudy Salas also gave an update on what is happening with the California State Legislature regarding DACA. He said that thirty million dollars was built into the state budget to help families facing deportation hearings pay for legal help.

“Legislation was passed saying we don’t want ICE coming to schools and tearing families apart,” said Salas.

All the legislation is on Governor Brown’s desk and Salas expects it will be signed within a couple of weeks.

For more information, including how to renew DACA status by October 5, 2017, visit