We Stand With Our Dreamers

Golden West College welcomes and supports all students, regardless of immigration status. In accordance with California law AB 540 and the California Dream Act, undocumented students at GWC will be afforded the same rights and resources as their peers, including access to resident tuition fees and financial aid.

Important Update:

On Saturday January 13, 2018, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will resume accepting renewal applications for deferred action under DACA until further notice. Only individuals who were previously granted deferred action under DACA may reapply for renewal. New applicants are not eligible to apply at this time.

This recent change which grants provisional relief to DACA recipients is due to a Federal court ruling by U.S. District Judge William Alsup of California which challenges the government’s rescission of DACA based on lack of jurisdiction by the Trump administration.

If you are eligible to apply for DACA renewal, do not miss the opportunity. Consult with an immigration attorney for further assistance.


What is DACA?

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, (DACA), was established in June 2012 by the Obama Administration to provide administrative relief from deportation to specific individuals who applied for and received DACA status from the federal government.  The purpose of DACA was to protect eligible immigrant youth who came to the United States as children (1) To receive protection from deportation; and (2) To receive a work permit. Eligible applicants were able to obtain DACA status for two years, which was subject to renewal.

DACA granted employment authorization to undocumented immigrants who:

  1. Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012
  2. Came to the United States before their 16th birthday
  3. Continuously resided in the U.S. since June 15, 2007
  4. Were physically present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making their request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS
  5. Entered without inspection before June 15, 2012, or their lawful immigration status expired as of June 15, 2012
  6. Were currently in school, graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or were an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States
  7. Had not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, three or more other misdemeanors, and did not otherwise pose a threat to national security of public safety
How do I apply for DACA for the first time?

USCIS will not accept new DACA applications from people who have not applied previously. No first-time DACA applications will be accepted by USCIS.

Should I renew my DACA?

UPDATE: As of January 13, 2018, Department of Homeland Security and USCIS will resume accepting application for renewal of DACA for anyone already registered in the program based on a Federal court ruling, until further notice.

If your DACA expired on or after September 5, 2016, you may send USCIS a DACA renewal application. This means you must fill out the latest versions of Form I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals; Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization; and Form I-765WS Worksheet. If your DACA expired before September 5, 2016, you must reapply by filing your application as a first-time one rather than as a renewal. All applicants, whether filing as first-timers or as renewing, must include the date their DACA expired or will expire on Part 1 of the Form I-821D.

The Trump administration stated that it plans to “vigorously” challenge the district court’s decision. This means that the window of time available for submitting your DACA renewal application is uncertain. If you fulfill the requirements mentioned above, you should assess whether to apply immediately.

What is the difference between DACA, AB 540, and the California Dream Act?

DACA, AB 540 and the California Dream Act are not the same. In the state of California, the unwinding of DACA does NOT impact a student’s ability to attend college, qualify for exemption from non-resident tuition fees, or apply for financial aid.

Please see the table below to understand the difference between these three programs.

Program Details
AB540 (Assembly Bill 540):
  • Allows qualified students to pay resident fees at California colleges and universities
  • This is not the same as the California Dream Act. Students who wish to be considered for the CA Dream Act, must apply separately.
  • The California Dream Act Application allows students enrolled in eligible California Colleges, Universities and Career Education Programs to apply for state financial aid
  • This application is unrelated to DACA
  • CA Dream Act applications are reviewed by the state of California. Information from this application is not shared with the federal government


DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals):
  • Grants two-year worker authorization and temporary relief of deportation
  • DACA applications are reviewed by the federal government
  • Provides temporary Social Security card for WORK ONLY
I'm a DACA student and I receive the California Dream Act, will I still receive my financial aid if DACA ends?

Yes. Click here for a helpful infographic.
GWC Financial Aid resources for DACA and Dreamers Students. http://www.goldenwestcollege.edu/gwcfao/

What is Advance Parole?

Advance Parole granted DACA recipients the opportunity to obtain a permit to travel abroad for educational, employment or humanitarian purposes.

The Department of Homeland Security has announced that it will no longer approve any applications for advance parole, although it will honor the validity period for previously approved applications for advance parole. However, it is recommended that DACA recipients do not travel outside of the U.S.

What if my DACA expired before September 5, 2016?

If your previous DACA expired before September 5, 2016, OR your DACA was previously terminated at any time, then you must request DACA as a first-time applicant. This is not to be confused with those that NEVER applied in the past, they may not apply at this time.

Is it safe for me to apply for the California DREAM ACT, given the current political climate?

Golden West College will not provide student information to Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE). Student information is private and Golden West College will protect all student information to the extent allowable by the law.

The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) prohibits the Golden West College from disclosing personally identifiable information, including records reflecting a student’s immigration status, unless a FERPA exception applies or the student gives consent.

“Regardless of what happens at the federal level, state financial aid for Dreamers remains legal in California. A Dreamer student does not need to be DACA- certified to be eligible for a public education or state financial aid. Losing DACA status will not affect most state financial aid. The information provided via the California Dream Act Application is used solely to determine eligibility for state financial aid and isn’t shared with the federal government or used for immigration enforcement purposes. CSAC will protect this information to the fullest extent of the law” (Letter from Tom Torlakson, the State Superintendent of Public Instruction California Department of Education and Lupita Cortez Alcala, the Executive Director of the California Student Aid Commission, 2016)


Are there any resources to help me pay for my DACA renewal?

Yes, there are:  The Mission Asset Fund is taking applications for scholarships to cover the $495.00 fee: https://missionassetfund.org/daca-grant/ You can also apply for Emergency Funds through the Financial Aid Office at GWC to help cover all, or a portion of the fees associated with your DACA renewal Dreamer Student Emergency Aid Grant: http://www.goldenwestcollege.edu/gwcfao/. There are also local community organizations you may be able to reach out to regarding scholarships and free DACA renewal clinics: http://www.publiclawcenter.org/ http://www.ociyu.org/ http://resilienceoc.org/ https://www.chispaoc.org/

As a DACA student, will I be allowed to stay enrolled at Golden West College?

Yes. All students are welcome at Golden West College as we have an open admissions policy.