The Merced Community College District has been selected to participate in a pilot project through a partnership with the California Department of Social Services, the Foundation for California Community Colleges and the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office to provide free immigration legal services. The UFW Foundation has partnered with Merced College to provide immigration legal services starting in May 2020 through October 2021. Over the course of the next year and a half, the Community College Immigration Legal Services Project will provide free immigration legal services, including education and outreach services, to current students, staff, and faculty on California community college campuses statewide.

“This is an important partnership for Merced College as we serve a large population of Dreamers,” said Ivan Peña, Dean of Student Equity.  “The need for immigration legal services was identified as one of the top three needs by this student population.  Such investment can prevent students from dropping out as a consequence of not finding adequate solutions to their immigration legal issues.  We are looking forward to being a part of the solution for our most impacted students.”  

A recent study found that in Southeast and East Merced County, there are an estimated 61,000 undocumented residents (Marcelli & Pastor, 2015).  Merced College looks to continue working with our community and expand our efforts to provide pathways to attain a higher education and the economic benefits that come with attaining a degree.  Empowering students with accurate and current information about immigration policy and increasing their access to legal representation by a qualified provider will allow them to focus on and advance their educational and career goals.

Students can schedule an appointment with a UFW Foundation attorney/accredited representative, through an online portal, for a comprehensive review of their immigration history and possible immigration remedies.  Starting on Tuesday, May 5th, appointments will be available the first Tuesday of every month and the third Wednesday of every month from 9:00am-5:00pm. 

For more information visit our Merced College Student Equity webpage ( or call (209) 384-6067.

For more information about this release, contact the Office of External Relations at or (209) 381-6176.