The Know Your Rights Movement was a virtual Zoom meeting hosted by the UFW Foundation, on Oct. 19, for local Bakersfield College students who are immigrants or have friends or family that are undocumented. They provided ways to prepare themselves and inform others what they can do if they are detained or questioned about their immigration status.
Claudia Lopez, who is a staff attorney, wants to make sure everyone is aware of the many ways you can work with the system.
“We just want the community to be prepared, send your friends and family to our system because we are here to help all DACA recipients,” Lopez said.
Sofia Corona, director of the staff attorney, discusses how to protect yourself regarding an expedited removal.
“It’s crucial that you have proof or copies of the documents of your diploma, papers, lease everything. If you have any questions about yourself being at risk that’s where I and Claudia come in to help.” Corona said.
Both Lopez and Corona informed everyone that living in California has its benefits with passing a CA Values Act (Jan. 2018). Local law enforcement cannot arrest you, enforce, or ask for your personal information. This act protects California Databases from immigration enforcement use. Other measures include the prohibition of court arrests and E-verify is not mandatory for private employers.
In their PowerPoint, they presented immigration services and appointments that are available, Legal Rights that these individuals carry, tips if they were approached by ICE, or and how to protect yourself if found in police custody.
They informed Bakersfield College students that their rights on campus are protected by FERPA. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act is a federal law enacted in 1974 to protect the privacy of student education records.
Generally, a person must have written permission to receive information and the law applies to every school that receives funds from the U.S Department of Education.
Lopez and Corona provided information and contacts of Immigration services for CA Community Colleges such as their UFW Foundation which serves 4 regional areas in California including Bakersfield, Salinas, Fresno, and Oxnard. The services are staffed by attorneys and accredited representatives. All services are confidential.
“The general aspect said it is possible with a new administrative staff because it does happen a lot, but that particular requirement should be prioritized,” Lopez said.
“Generally, we recommend all people to stay informed of general immigration developments, periodically speak to an attorney, and maintain good community standing crimes, and those that can study or obtain a degree, to do so,” Corona said.