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Illegal immigrants could receive thousands of dollars under UC Berkeley grant plan

UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ proposed a plan to allocate $800,000 toward meeting the needs of undocumented immigrant students on campus. (Image source: UC Berkeley YouTube video screenshot)

The University of California at Berkeley is considering a plan that would allocate hundreds of thousands of dollars to provide need-based grants to illegal immigrant students, The Daily Californian reports.

Along with the funds, UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ promised to establish a “permanent community space” on campus for students who are not in the country legally.

Why are they doing this?

These new initiatives come after a controversy surrounding an undocumented student from Ecuador who was detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement for two and a half weeks last month for being in the United States on an expired visa.

The student, Luis Mora, and his attorney, Prerna Lal, said the lack of designated spaces for undocumented students to meet with their legal representatives is a problem.

“I could have talked to (Lal) about my situation and my family. … (Lal) would have told me about my situation and what I could have done. … I wouldn’t have been detained,” Mora said to The Daily Californian. “Such spaces are crucial.”

Mora was released on bond and awaits trial before an immigration judge in March. His girlfriend said he applied for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, but was denied.

Christ met with Mora earlier this week, and announced the plans for additional funding and accommodations after that meeting.

How would the plan work?

The proposal requests $800,000 to be allocated for one semester of the 2018-19 academic year.

Illegal immigrant students will be eligible for $2,500 in basic needs grants, and all other students will be eligible for $1,500.

$50,000 will be set aside for special cases.

Undocumented Students Program Director Meng So would be given a permanent space in the student center, and campus buildings would be repurposed to provide a space for students who are not in the country legally.

What’s next?

The plan must be approved by the UC Office of the President before it can go into effect.

(H/T Fox News)

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