Immigration experts call for unity to protect Dreamers and pass legislation

Dae Joong Yoon, executive director of the National Korean American Service and Education Consortium, talks about his time protesting for immigrants rights in front of the White House. (photos by Les Dunseith)

As the country reckons with President Donald Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, expert panelists discussing immigration at a UCLA event Sept. 12 noted that now is the time for everyone who supports immigration reform to advocate for legislation that would protect those who are undocumented.

“I feel 100 percent protected at this point,” said Marcela Zhou, a UCLA medical student who is undocumented, as part of the discussion held at the Cross Campus gathering space in downtown Los Angeles. “But we really need the support from the community to continue fighting.”

Zhou was speaking as part of “Public Discussion: L.A. Leaders on Immigration and Civic Action,” which included immigration experts from UCLA and beyond, all trying to make sense of what transpired a week ago and what needs to be done now.

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Postcard from Sacramento: Institute of Transportation Studies Keeps California Moving

Head representatives of the Institute of Transportation Studies chat with Assemblymember Vince Fong.

When members of the UCLA Institute of Transportation Studies (ITS) meet with elected officials, they often pride themselves on being ready for just about any topic that might come up during the discussion. If something new comes up, they are ready to dive in headfirst.

“We want to do research on questions people don’t know the answers to,” ITS Director Brian Taylor said during a recent campus meeting with Assemblymember Vince Fong. “We take this public policy mandate seriously.”

That public policy mandate was taken up a notch during the last year, when the California State Legislature ratified a bill that will distribute approximately $5 million to University of California to be divided among ITS units at UC campuses in Los Angeles, Berkeley, Irvine and Davis.

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Summer Recess UCLA Campus Showoff: Assemblymembers Visit

Assemblymember Vince Fong examines special 3D imaging technology at CNSI.

Legislative recess is a time for elected officials to come back home and reconnect with their constituencies. UCLA is a proud member of the community, and university officials were thrilled to conduct on-campus meetings with three California legislators during a jam-packed two weeks.

A special “thank you” to Assemblymembers Vince Fong, Raul Bocanegra and Dante Acosta, for visiting our campus and learning about so many amazing programs, along with meeting with enthusiastic students and faculty who are ready to start long-lasting partnerships with each of you.

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