Legal services now available at City College’s Dreamer Resource Center

Immigration attorneys are now available to students and their families.


Jonny Rico

Legal help for immigrants is available at the Subir Cultural Center. Jonny Rico/City Times

Brian Mohler , Arts and Entertainment Editor

It is important to know your rights, because more knowledge means more protection.

Legal rights are what immigration attorney and San Diego City College alumna, Dulce Garcia, knows well.

She recently led a “Know Your Rights” discussion at the Dreamer Resource Center within one of the campus’ ¡SUBIR! Cultural Centers.

Garcia Law Firm, which she founded, has been contracted by City College to provide free legal consultation to undocumented students and their families.

The Dreamer Resource Center’s Title V project manager, Lilian Garcia, no relation to Dulce, said the Garcia Law Firm will offer an estimated 9-10 hours of free legal assistance each month.

Dulce Garcia, a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipient, understands the process as well as anyone.

In an era of Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents scoping out neighborhoods and even waiting for undocumented parents to drop their kids off at schools, Dulce Garcia said it’s important to have a plan and be informed.

“(We want to) make people aware of the abuses that are going on,” Dulce Garcia said. “You can record on your phone and upload it to the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union).”

A rapid response network of volunteers can be reached at (619) 536-0823 and provide support 24/7, according to Dulce Garcia.

Enrique Velez, a San Diego Community College student and DACA recipient, takes classes through the district’s Continuing Education program but said he wants to transfer to City College.  

Even though DACA gives Velez a form of documentation to work, a disability makes it nearly impossible for him to find employment and he struggles to pay bills.

Velez’s legal status limits the benefits he can qualify for, which is one of the reasons he was there to ask Garcia for help.

Undocumented students like Velez from other SDCCD campuses are invited to utilize the services provided by the City College’s Dreamer Resource Center.

The new legal services are supported by a $336,000 grant the district received to expand resources for undocumented students. The services are not only available to students, but friends and families can also take advantage of the legal resources available.  

More information is available at the ¡SUBIR! Cultural Center, located in AH-200A.