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CSU Rolling Out Free Immigration Legal Aid For Students, Staff

California State University San Marcos campus, Feb. 4, 2016.

Photo by Alison St John

Above: California State University San Marcos campus, Feb. 4, 2016.

California State University is working with immigrant-rights organizations to provide legal immigration services at 22 campuses within the next six months.

Jewish Family Service of San Diego will be providing legal aid to students, staff, and faculty at San Diego State and Cal State San Marcos.

Listen to this story by Maya Trabulsi.

Attorneys, paralegals, and representatives from the organization will routinely visit to help with issues such as green card and DACA renewals, as well as “know your rights” presentations. As immigration laws change, Jairo Castañeda, lead higher education attorney with JFS, said he’s already seeing more students coming into JFS offices for help.

“Studies have shown that students, staff, and faculty are being affected by worrying about their immigration status or family member's immigration status and so this is the logical next step,” he said.

CSU campuses will provide administrative services, private meeting spaces and office equipment. Students in the country illegally will be given priority over other students with immigration issues.

California State University doesn’t have a clear count of how many of its students are in the country illegally. But officials estimate 9,500 of their students receive AB 540 waivers, which exempts undocumented students who received a diploma from a California high school — or equivalent — from paying out-of-state tuition.

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