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City College Of San Francisco Officials Encourage Dream Act Applications

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) -- With an important American Dream Act deadline fast approaching, a Bay Area sanctuary college wants to make sure its students are aware.

On Wednesday, City College of San Francisco board members and local lawmakers were getting the word out.

Alejandro Villeda is a DACA student at City College. He says he feels safe at the school during a time of uncertainty, but that wasn't always the case for him.

"I was afraid to see what was going on outside," said Villeda. "Even when I come to school, I was like, 'I don't know what's in the future, I don't know who's going to help me, I don't know if I'm doing it right.'"

Villeda joined school officials at the event to urge students like him to apply for the California Dream Act in order to be eligible for state financial aid.

As a sanctuary college, Chancellor Dr. Mark Rocha says most of City College's DACA and undocumented students are qualified to receive money for school.

"But we understand the apprehension, even the fear, of putting your name down on an application," said Dr. Rocha.

Assemblyman David Chiu told the crowd part of the reason he was at the press conference was because of the lack of progress Congress has made on immigration reform.

"It is so important for all of us to know to hang together, because this time period will end," said Chiu. "At some point, Trump will no longer be our President, and I'm looking out to the next generation of our leaders."

5 p.m on Friday, March 2nd, is the deadline for the financial aid application. Leaders City College want to encourage students to come to them if they have any questions.

"There's places in the country where you don't get any of this. So take advantage of the fact that we're in a city that supports you," said Alejandro Jimenez of the group Voices of Immigrants Demonstrating Achievement.

President Trump has said Monday, March 5th is the day DACA expires unless Congress comes up with a solution.

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