Led by Executive Director Maria Blanco, the University of California Immigrant Legal Services Center serves the immigration-related legal needs of undocumented and immigrant students in the University of California system.
The University of California Immigrant Legal Services Center was established in 2015. Operating out of UC Davis School of Law, the groundbreaking program reaches out to students at UC campuses —UC Davis, UC Irvine, UCLA, UC Merced, UC San Francisco, UC Santa Cruz, UC Santa Barbara, UC San Diego, and UC Riverside—to provide, free of charge, the legal assistance they need in order to achieve their educational goals and reach their full potential.
California is home to approximately 2.5 million undocumented immigrants—more than any other state. Many who were brought into the country as children now find themselves encountering significant barriers as they pursue higher education. Among other problems, undocumented students face difficulties in applying for work and financial aid, and they often fear that disclosing their status to school administrators will have legal consequences for their families. The state and federal governments offer programs that can help, but successful use of these resources requires a level of legal expertise not readily available in most immigrant communities. The UC Immigrant Legal Services Center helps to fill that need.