Sac State campus community’s concerns about recent DACA ruling

New ruling of DACA changes the program for future applicants


Tierra Tilby

Coordinator of the Sac State Dreamer Resource Center Kim Gomez stands in the Serna Center Oct. 11, 2022. Gomez said that the center is a community of Hornets dedicated to the undocumented community.

The U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a lower court’s ruling that Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, referred to as DACA, is unlawful.

The newly implemented ruling says there can be no new applicants for DACA. Those already part of the program can still continue and renew their status.

This  protects the status of current DACA recipients but it remains unclear what the impacts will have on future recipients of the program. DACA renewals will continue; this ruling impacts first-time DACA applicants since the ruling pauses active and pending cases. 

Following this ruling, Sac State President Robert S. Nelsen sent out a campus wide email on Oct. 6, 2022.  According to the email, the ruling will go into effect on Oct. 31. The case will now go back to a judge in the Rio Grande Valley, Texas to determine the legality of DACA with a consideration of this new rule. 

When your mental health is not okay, it can impact you physically as well. The students are not okay.

— Kim Gomez


CSU Interim Chancellor Jolene Koester responded in a statement saying that this decision places a hurdle in the lives of Dreamers across the state. 

“The CSU remains undeterred in supporting Dreamers in all of our 23 university campuses and remains steadfast in our commitment to working with our state and federal leaders on a permanent bipartisan solution that will protect and support Dreamers, including the provision of a clear pathway to citizenship,” Koester wrote.

Koester also encouraged all CSU students to use the free resources the CSU system provides to Dreamers. 

Resources include access to free immigration legal services from agencies throughout the state, assistance programs, webinars, basic needs initiatives and mental health services. That includes the Dreamer Resource Center located at Sac State.

Kim Gomez, coordinator of the Sac State Dreamer Resource Center (DRC) mentioned the policy the Sac State faculty senate adopted in 2019 to protect undocumented individuals. The policy will protect Dreamers information, keep immigration enforcement and ICE from being on campus, and will provide accommodations for students, resources and legal representation including renewals of DACA. 

“[The ruling] impacted the Dreamer Resource Center, us emotionally and, for some folks, physically,” Gomez said. “When your mental health is not okay, it can impact you physically as well. The students are not okay.”

Gomez was caught off guard by the Oct. 5 ruling, since she thought the final rule was released back in August by the Biden administration. It was a surprise to her, but also a sad reminder that this battle has lasted ten years.

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DRC peer mentor and second-year social work major Diana Perez stands in the Serna Center Oct. 11, 2022. “You have to be prepared mentally, emotionally, depending on how you feel about [the ruling],” Perez said. (Monserrat (Mimi) Covarrubias)

Diana Perez, DRC peer mentor and second-year social work major, said she expected the recent DACA ruling with the court case happening in Texas and their views on the DACA policy.

“It’s very unfortunate, that’s what I will say,”  Perez said. “It’s not just affecting myself, the people I know, but many other people. And you have to stop and think about what will happen next.”

The new implemented ruling is unfortunate and can change the outcome of people’s futures, according to her.

“You have to be prepared mentally, emotionally,” she continued. “Depending on how you feel about [the ruling].”

Graduate student and DRC peer mentor Leonela De La Cruz said the DACA ruling did not shock her.

“I think the impact it made on campus and with the students — it was big, but we just wanna remain hopeful,” De La Cruz said. “I’m not a DACA recipient myself and I just tell [the students] that it’s fine. There’s ways we can navigate college without DACA.”

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Graduate student and DRC peer mentor Leonela De La Cruz sits at her desk in the Serna Center Oct. 11, 2022. De La Cruz tells students that they should remain hopeful and that there are ways to navigate college without DACA. (Monserrat (Mimi) Covarrubias)

Gomez encourages students, staff, and faculty to come by the Dreamer Resource Center, especially during times like these where some students need a safe space.

“It’s tough to say this, but remain optimistic and know that you have a community of Hornets here to support you and a center dedicated solely for you, our undocumented community,” Gomez said.

Students, staff and faculty wanting to know more on Dreamer resources that are available, the DCR is accessible through [email protected]  or call (916) 278-7734.