CSU to Roll Out Delivery of Immigration Legal Services for Students and Employees

The California Department of Social Services has contracted with four providers throughout the state to deliver direct legal services to CSU campuses.


  • newswise-fullscreen CSU to Roll Out Delivery of Immigration Legal Services for Students and Employees

    Credit: California State University

    ​The university estimates that approximately 9,500 CSU students are undocumented across its 23 campuses.

Newswise — The California State University (CSU) today announced a systemwide plan for the provision of immigration legal services for CSU students and employees.

“I am delighted that we will be able to increase the availability of immigration legal services to the California State University community. We remain committed to ensuring that all CSU students have the opportunity to pursue their higher education goals regardless of their country of origin. This inclusive foundation extends to our employees, who demonstrate their dedication to student achievement and success on a daily basis," said CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White. “These thousands of Californians are pursuing their dreams for a better future every day on CSU campuses. The expanded services and resources that will soon be available will bring support, legal guidance and some peace of mind to enable our students and employees to focus on academic and professional pursuits."

Funding for the services initially was provided by a one-time allocation of $7 million from the 2018 Budget Act to the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) to implement direct immigration legal services programs on CSU campuses. California's 2019-20 budget converted the same amount to recurring funding to maintain the services. Staff from CSU's Office of the Chancellor have been working with the CDSS to design a systemwide delivery model for implementation.

How it works:

CDSS has contracted with four providers throughout the state to deliver direct legal services to CSU campuses. The rollout of services will vary for each provider and campus based on campus needs and the capacity of immigration legal services, but is expected to be phased in over the next six months. The incremental rollout will ensure that providers have enough time to hire additional staff to serve the CSU community.

Services will be provided to 22 CSU campuses. A provider will not be assigned to California State University Maritime Academy. However, Cal Maritime students and employees will have access to the same level of support and will be invited to all immigration legal services events at neighboring campuses.

Attorneys, paralegals and/or accredited representatives from the service providers will visit campuses on a routine basis determined by the number of students who need to be served on each campus. Initially the types of legal services offered will be limited to general consultations, DACA renewals and general assistance in filling out forms such as family-based petitions.

CSU campuses will support the services by scheduling appointments, providing private meeting spaces and access to office equipment and services, as well as informing students about services and programming, recruiting volunteers, coordinating immigration legal workshops and educational outreach events.

Services may be added or expanded depending on need.​​

Who will provide the services:

Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA) will provide services for: Chico State, Humboldt State, Sacramento State and Sonoma State.

Immigrant Legal Defense (ILD) will provide services for: Cal State East Bay, San Francisco State, San José State, CSU Monterey Bay, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, CSU Bakersfield, Fresno State and Stanislaus State.

CARECEN will provide services for: CSU Channel Islands, CSUN, Cal State LA, CSU Dominguez Hills, Cal State Long Beach, Cal State Fullerton, Cal State San Bernardino and Cal Poly Pomona.

Jewish Family Service will provide services for CSU San Marcos and San Diego State. 

Who can utilize the services:

The university estimates that approximately 9,500 CSU students are undocumented and receive AB 540 waivers across its 23 campuses. Undocumented students will receive priority in scheduling of appointments and receiving legal assistance, followed by students with other legal immigration questions and then staff. 

To learn more about the rollout of services or for information about support services currently available for students and employees, please visit the CSU's Resources for Undocumented Students website.

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