​​​​​​​​​​​​​ALMASS

Advocacy Leadership for imMigrant Access Support and Services

Welcome!  Bienvenidos​!

San Jose City College (SJCC) is dedicated to supporting diversity.  We provide resources for all our students.  Feel free to click on the links to gain access to all the resources available.  Should you have any questions please feel free to contact our supporting staff.

Mission

The ALMASS (Advocacy for Latin@ Migrant Access and Student Services) is the voice of the AB540/DACA students at SJCC. The mission of the program is to provide access, built on the foundation of educational equity, social justice and opportunities for eligible students. The ALMASS program aims to empower AB540/DACA students, their families and college community in being informed leaders.​ 

​What Is AB540?Assembly Bill 540 is a California law that allows qualified students to pay in-state tuition at the State's institutions of higher education.    AB540 does not grant State or Federal financial eligibility, and only provides an exemption to the requirements of paying non-resident tuition.

How do I know if I qualify for AB540?

To qualify as an AB540 student, undocumented students must meet the f​ollowing:

    • ​​Have attended a California High School for 3 or more full academic years between grades 9 through 12 (they do not need to be consecutive years);
    • Be (or will be) a graduate from a California High School or have attained a GED or received​ a passing mark on the California High School Proficiency Exam (CHSPE);
    • Register or be currently enrolled at an accredited institution of public higher education in California;
    • File or plan to file an Affidavit as required by individual institutions, stating that he/she will apply for legal residency as soon as possible;
    • Not hold a valid non-immigrant visa (F, J, H, L, A, E, etc).


What steps do I take to determine if I qualify for AB540?

Is AB540 the same as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)?

No.  DACA is not legislation.  DACA is a modified process in which Homeland Security allows certain individuals, who meet specific guidelines, to request consideration of deferred action from USCIS. Individuals who are eligible to received deferred action will not be removed from the United States during a specific period of time unless deferred action is terminated. If you received deferred action, you may be eligible for employment authorization.

What is DACA and DAPA​?

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA):

DACA is an exercise of prosecutorial discretion that provides temporary relief from deportation (deferred action) and work authorization to certain young people brought to the United States as children—often called "DREAMers." The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) first launched the initiative in 2012, and since that time it has helped over 700,000 eligible young adults move into mainstream life in the United States, thereby improving their social and economic well-being.  To qualify under the original initiative, individuals must demonstrate that they:

    • Were under the age of 31 on June 15, 2012;
    • Arrived in the United States before turning 16;
    • Continuously resided in the United States from June 15, 2007 to the present;
    • Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, as well as at the time of requesting deferred action from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS);
    • Entered without inspection before June 15, 2012, or any lawful immigration status expired on or before June 15, 2012;
    • Are either in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are honorably discharged veterans of the U.S. Coast Guard or the U.S. Armed Forces; and
    • Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more other misdemeanors occurring on different dates and arising out of different acts, omissions, or schemes of misconduct, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.

Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA):

DAPA is a prosecutorial discretion program administered by USCIS that provides temporary relief from deportation (called deferred action) and work authorization to unauthorized parents of U.S. citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs). The DAPA program resembles the DACA program in some important aspects, but the eligibility criteria are distinct.  The program will be open to individuals who:

    • have a U.S. citizen or LPR son or daughter as of November 20, 2014;
    • have continuously resided in the United States since before January 1, 2010;
    • are physically present in the United States on November 20, 2014, and at the time of applying;
    • have no lawful immigration status on November 20, 2014;
    • are not an enforcement priority, which is defined to include individuals with a wide range of criminal convictions (including certain misdemeanors), those suspected of gang involvement and terrorism, recent unlawful entrants, and certain other immigration law violators
    • present no other factors that would render a grant of deferred action inappropriate; and
    • pass a background check.

DAPA grants will last for three years. The DAPA program should be ready to receive applications within 180 days.

As an AB540 student is it important for you to know your rights

    • You cannot be denied admission to a California college or University based on your immigration status.
    • ​You are not required to pay out-of state, international, capital outlay, or penalty fees (which may be charged to out-of-state and/or international students) to enroll at a California college or university if you qualify for AB540.
    • ​You are not required to show proof of legal residency status or proof of application for legal residency status.

IF YOU NEED HELP: Some college staff may be unaware of AB540 or may interpret the law incorrectly. If you feel that your rights under AB540 have been denied, contact Fabio Gonzalez​.

​​Support Services

Although the AB540 law does give a student the opportunity to pay in-state tuition fees, he/she is not eligible for any traditional federal and/or California State financial aid programs.  Therefore, SJCC is committed to making the dream of higher education possible for AB540 students by offering extra services.  

The following are some of the services available to ALMAS Students:

    • ​Counseling (Academic, Career, and   Personal)

    • *Financial Aid Assistance: BOGW, CA Dream Act application, scholarships (See tab below).

    • Book Voucher

    • Lending Library

    • Lending Technology (laptops/calculators)

    • College resources/school materials

    • Career Assessment

    • Study Skills Workshops

    • University field trips

    • VTA Eco Passes 

    • Referral to legal immigration counsel

    • Other student conferences

Financial Aid Assistance:  As of January 2013, AB​540 students are eligible to apply for California State financial aid (not FAFSA).  The primary benefit of this law is the eligibility to pay tuition at California resident rates. 

Non-resident students taking 12 college units per semester pay approximately $3,008. AB540-eligible students will pay approximately $572 per semester. ​

The California Dream Act of 2011 was passed in two laws: 

AB130 & AB131. These laws allow AB540 eligible students to apply for:

    • ​​Institutional Financial Aid:   ​As of January 2013, AB540 students are eligible for State Financial Aid grants like Cal Grants and Chafee.  They are also eligible to for State funded programs like BOG fee waiver, EOP&S, CARE.  ​

    • Privately Funded Scholarships:  SJCC offers various general and major specific scholarships. Starting January 2013 AB540 students will also be able to apply for SJCC scholarships that require BOG fee waiver eligibility.

ALMASS logo

ALMASS Contact Information 

Fabio Gon​zalez

Coordinator/Counselor​

​408-288-3168​

Olga Mora​les-Anaya​​​​

​Counselor

​408-298-2181 ext. 3902

Valentin Garcia

Coun​​selor

408-298-21​81 ext. 3804​​​

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