Illustration by Darlene Maes/Viking/@Dawrlean

Immigration, a phenomena which has been a part of recorded human history dating back to the beginning of mankind. Today, nothing has changed, and the college has done the right thing (in the long run) for continuing the push for integration of undocumented students.

Through the Board of Trustees support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), undocumented immigrants who entered the United States before their 16th birthday and before June 2007, are enrolled in school, a high school graduate or honorably discharged from the military, under age 31 as of June 15, 2012, and not have been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor or three other misdemeanors can receive the support of college education at LBCC.

So, why should tax-payer money be used to fund undocumented immigrants at LBCC? For starters, it piggybacks off the momentum of the college’s Long Beach College Promise and the college’s promise to accept students from all backgrounds, despite their economic situation, preparedness level for college and other factors.

To argue against LBCC’s supporting of undocumented students, one must also have to fight against the heavy precedence of support the college has for unprepared students, disabled students, workers, veterans and many more socially and economically disadvantaged students. Aside from standing out against LBCC’s status quo, not supporting highly motivated immigrant students who have dealt with real life barriers to receive an education in America, and were dealt the unfair hand of being undocumented because of their family, is like missing the golden ticket of productivity.

The college has inefficiency problems when it comes to unmotivated students who take for granted the opportunity handed to them, as opposed to undocumented students who are fighting for every bit of help they get, and are willing to go above and beyond to reach the same amount of success possible. We cannot deny at some extent that this system can be inherently flawed and inefficient, but we also realize that LBCC now holds that responsibility at a national level and as a leader of the community college system which provides opportunity to those at the very bottom of the economic and social ladder.

Today, immigration has brought itself to the forefront of the US political debates, where concerns for economic, social and safety stability or instability sit at the core of this apple. If taxpayers are looking for a return on investment, undocumented immigrants who are using their education in a resourceful manner, and are on a path to citizenship should be given a chance to express their success through an institution that shares the value of equal access education as a national priority, and one that will put LBCC on the map for its remedial and jumpstarting opportunities as a community college.