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California State University Bakersfield offering free legal immigration service

Posted at 3:00 PM, Jan 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-28 18:38:30-05

In September of last year, CSUB rolled out legal immigration services on its campus. At the time 9,500 Cal State University students were undocumented. 23ABC's Daniela Garrido spoke with a local lawyer who focuses on legal immigration as what those services will look like.

CSUB is one of 21 Cal State Universities to offer monthly legal immigration services on its campus. Win Eaton is a specialized immigration lawyer who has dedicated 13 years to the immigrant community in Bakersfield.

"Those are the two categories: they're either as special immigrant juveniles or undocumented young people," explained Eaton. "I work closely with CSUB. I was a major participant with the documentary, The American Migrant Stories, done through the California State University and the California Endowment. We've done a number of public forums to help people understand their rights. We've done various seminars to give people good ideas on how to deal with certain circumstances if they happen to get stopped and that sort of thing."

Resource services such as Tuesday and Wednesday's event will allow the 9,500 undocumented students and staff throughout Cal State University campuses to ask questions about DACA renewals and family-based petitions, free of charge.

"They don't understand the process. That they may be eligible for to get on a path to citizenship or a green card, then citizenship. Other times we may find someone already protected under the Deferred Action Program and they don't understand they should have filed for renewal, but they still can file even if its been some time since their DACA status expired."

And while the months-old service is meant to help students and staff, some are still skeptical of using it.

"There are things causing fear to roll across the country in the immigrant community so if there is a little concern out there it's justified and I share that concern."

The services will be offered Tuesday and Wednesday by appointment only.