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Opportunity for All Act Passes CA Assembly Higher Education Committee

The Opportunity for All Act, Assembly Bill 2586, was approved by the CA Assembly Higher Education Committee. This groundbreaking bill, sponsored by Assemblymember David Alvarez (D-San Diego), will provide equal access to employment opportunities for all students, regardless of their immigration status, at the University of California (UC), California State University (CSU), and California Community Colleges (CCC) campuses.

“America has always promised that if you work hard, you will have the opportunity to succeed,” said Assemblymember David Alvarez. “These students have fulfilled their obligation and are ready to be our future teachers, scientists, doctors, and public servants. This bill will provide them with the opportunity to work. Creating these pathways to secure employment is essential.”

Many undocumented students in higher education do not have access to DACA, which means California’s public colleges and universities have the responsibility to make sure that all non-DACA students have equitable educational and career opportunities. 44,326 undocumented students in higher education in California cannot apply for educational employment opportunities simply because of their status. This includes work study jobs, paid internships, and student leadership positions in campus organizations, graduate student researcher and teaching assistant positions, required practicums and other educational and professional opportunities necessary for full access to educational opportunities.

AB 2586 takes a huge step forward to address the inequities undocumented students face in advancing their careers and supporting themselves financially while simultaneously completing their education. This legislation ensures that all students, regardless of their immigration status, can contribute to and benefit from the state’s rich educational and employment ecosystem, bolstering California’s position as a leader in diversity, innovation, and opportunity. The bill will now be reviewed by the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

Students and advocates gather at the California State Capitol to support AB 2586, a bill promoting equal employment opportunities for all students at public colleges and universities in California

“We celebrate the passage of Assembly Bill 2586 in the Assembly Higher Education Committee. Every student, regardless of immigration status, should have equal opportunities for employment. We must remove barriers that have prevented immigrant students from equal treatment in employment, and allow them to use their skills to contribute to colleges and universities,” said Kent Wong, Director for Labor and Community Partnerships at the UCLA Labor Center.

“Our fight doesn’t stop here—we’ll keep pushing until AB 2586 is fully realized, ensuring we receive opportunities equal to those of our fellow students. Every day, thousands of undocumented students like myself battle financial, housing, and food insecurity. Our aspirations for education and career advancement are hindered by unfair restrictions on educational employment opportunities. We’re committed to breaking down these barriers to achieve our dreams. We are confident our lawmakers will share those same aspirations for equality and pass AB 2586,” said Jeffry Umaña Muñoz, UCLA undergraduate student and organizer with the Undocumented Student-Led Network.

“We applaud the Assembly Higher Education Committee for the passage of AB 2586. This bill will put an end to the separate-but-equal educational system that still operates in California’s university systems. As AB 2586 recognizes, the University of California, California State University, and California Community Colleges have the legal authority to hire any of their students, regardless of immigration status,” said Ahilan Arulanantham, Faculty Co-Director at the Center for Immigration Law and Policy (CILP) at the UCLA School of Law.

Watch the Higher Education Committee Hearing (AB 2586 hearing begins at 1:51:35)

Opportunity for All in the News

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