The student news site of Los Medanos College


The student news site of Los Medanos College


The student news site of Los Medanos College


Reader Opinion Policy

The Experience welcomes Letters to the Editor and Guest Columns. All members of the LMC community — students, faculty and staff — are encouraged to write.

If you are interested in expressing your opinions, bring your submissions to room CC3-301. You may also send them electronically through the Experience online website

Letters and columns must be typed, signed and include a phone number for verification. They may be edited for clarity, content taste and length at the editor’s discretion.

‘Know Your Rights’ speech for Undocumented Students

In-Person event for Undocumented Student Action Week
Gabbie Munoz
Luis Ramirez speaks about the rights of undcocumented citizens in California, and what we can do to help them. Photo shows the hotline numbers to call incase of a ICE sighting in your area.

As part of the Seventh Annual Undocumented Student Action Week from Oct. 16-20, LMC held an in-person “Know Your Rights” presentation Oct. 17 in the Student Union. 

Luis Ramirez of the Immigrant Institute of the Bay Area (IIBA) reviewed the rights of undocumented citizens in the United States, as well as the options that migrants have to obtain green cards.

The presentation included solutions that students can use to get their education comfortably while being undocumented: The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Temporary Protected Status (TPS). However, Ramirez did report that legal decisions regarding DACA have ruled it as an unlawful program, and it will likely be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court within the next year. He also said students are still able to renew their DACA status and continue their education.

Another lesser-known solution for undocumented students is the Special Immigrant Juvenile Status that applies to unmarried children who are 21 or younger, who were abused, abandoned, or neglected by one or both parents. The recipient would be placed under the custody of another individual, in some cases it can be the parent that wasn’t causing the abuse whether or not they have citizenship in the U.S. He explained the child won’t be able to petition for the parent when regarding their own legal status.

“Many undocumented migrants don’t think they have any rights in the United States. That’s completely wrong,” said Ramirez.

In reality, he explained everyone in the United States has rights under the Constitution, including the Fifth Amendment, the right to remain silent; and the Fourth Amendment, the right to deny unreasonable searches. So migrants are allowed to not disclose where they were born or how they entered the U.S., especially under California law, officers are not allowed to ask for proof of immigration status. 

In addition, if Immigration and Customs Enforcement comes to the door, migrants are allowed to not open it as ICE needs a warrant signed by a judge to enter the premises. If they claim they have one, he suggested asking them to slide it under the door to ensure the address is correct.

It was also suggested by Ramirez that undocumented migrants never sign any documents without speaking to a lawyer first, as there have been cases of people unknowingly signing their own deportation papers because they didn’t understand what they were agreeing to. 

Ramirez’s own experiences led him to highlight the importance of undocumented students knowing their rights.

“I was fully undocumented when younger I obtained my DACA through school,” Ramirez said. 

Ramierz went into his line of work to help students who have gone through a similar experience get the help they need to become citizens and ensure their rights are protected. But, Ramirez also believes that influencing state and federal policy is key to helping migrants.

“We need to push state leaders to pass policies that benefit undocumented people…federal congress is inactive, but we need them to fulfill the promises that are being made,” Ramirez said, adding that students are directly affected by the rising tensions toward undocumented citizens. “Redirect from politicians brings fear to students and causes them to not want to go to school.”

To be a good “undocuAlly,” Ramirez encourages other students to urge their undocumented peers to get an education, as well as keep up with legal decisions regarding immigration policies. Citizens with such knowledge can serve as an ally who undocumented peers can rely on to help them if detained.

There are also hotlines available for allies to use as a witness to an ICE detainment: for Alameda County, it’s (510) 241-4011 and for Contra Costa County, it’s (925) 900-5151. 

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Gabbie Munoz
Gabbie Munoz, Staff Writer

Comments (0)

All Experience Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *