Story Student Success

CSU Hosts Inaugural Summit for Undocumented, Mixed-Status Students

Jeanne Fratello

The Undocu Student Summit brought together more than 250 CSU students from across California.


​The California State University held its first-ever Undocu Student Summit on March 16, bringing together more than 250 CSU students from across the state for a series of presentations and breakout sessions. The summit, hosted by Cal State Long Beach, was designed to provide a forum for CSU undocumented and mixed-status students to network, empower, build community, celebrate diversity, create inclusive opportunities and cultivate their leadership skills.

Summit participants also included staff and supporters of the CSU's “Dream Centers," which provide legal aid on immigration issues to students at all CSU universities.

“While we as Dream Center staff get together once a year, we have never had an opportunity like this to gather all of our students together," said Norma Salcedo, director of the Dream Success Center at Cal State Long Beach. She noted that the summit was taking place exactly 10 years after the opening of the CSU's first Dream Center, at Cal State Fullerton. “What an opportunity to honor our past while redefining our future."

Summit participants heard from immigration attorneys, activists and fellow students who shared their experience and advice in navigating the complicated landscape of the federal DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) policy. DACA grants temporary legal status and benefits to individuals without documentation who came to the U.S. as children.

Speaker Ju Hung, the director of the UCLA Dream Resource Center and a San Francisco State alumnus, told students that as an undocumented Korean immigrant student he hadn't ever imagined that he could go to college. That all changed when his family was able to access free legal assistance, he said.

“That was the first time I ever heard that I could go to college despite being undocumented, and that really transformed my life—and it really gave me a sense of purpose and true calling that I want to serve immigrant communities," said Hung, who encouraged attendees to take a leadership role in advocating for undocumented youth.

The CSU provides free immigration legal services to all current students, staff, faculty, immediate family members of current students, recent graduates (who graduated within two years) and newly admitted students who have accepted their admissions.

Currently, more than 8,500 CSU students are taking advantage of in-state tuition granted to undocumented students through California's AB 540 legislation, according to Ana Aguayo-Bryant, assistant director of student affairs programs at the CSU Chancellor's Office.

Find more CSU resources available for undocumented students.