The History of the Undocumented Student Program

In 2010, a group composed of staff and students from the UC Berkeley Immigrant Student Issues Coalition (ISIC) forwarded several recommendations to Chancellor Birgeneau regarding immigrant students on campus. One of the recommendations was to create a task force focused on undocumented students at the university to articulate the issues and needs and make recommendations for campus initiatives to serve this population. The Chancellor assigned the task to Vice Chancellor for Equity & Inclusion, Gibor Basri.

In fall 2010, Vice Chancellor Basri initiated the task force with help defining its charge and membership from concerned communities. Click here for the list of recommendations.

The task force, now known as the Undocumented Community Council, works to implement the recommendations and support further research and advocacy with and for undocumented members of the community. A research project headed by of the Center for Race and Gender, Multicultural Center, Chicano/Latino Student Development, Asian Pacific Student Development, Rising Immigrant Scholars through Education, Aspiring Students Promoting Immigrant Rights through Education, and Immigrants Rising informs the scope of the Undocumented Student Program.

One of the recommendations was to create a half-time staff position to work specifically on improving undocumented student transition and access to on-campus resources. Meng So was appointed as the Undocumented Student Program coordinator, thus establishing the Undocumented Student Program, initially housed within the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) and now a part of the larger cluster of Centers for Educational Equity and Excellence (CE3). The Centers for Educational Equity and Excellence are under the Division for Equity and Inclusion and are comprised of the Transfer, Re-Entry and Student Parent Center, Veteran Services, the Educational Opportunity Program, the Undocumented Student Program, and the Cal Independent Scholars Network.

A generous donation made by Elise Haas established the Robert D. Haas Dreamer’s Resource Center in fall 2012 (renamed the Haas Undocumented Community Resource Center in February 2020). The Resource Center is a tribute to the courage and ambition of undocumented students at Cal and nationwide, their families, and the dreams of prior generations that are being realized by this extraordinary community of students.