Campus Reform | UMD student gov votes to create full-time 'undocumented student coordinator' role

UMD student gov votes to create full-time 'undocumented student coordinator' role

The coordinator isn't the only position offered by the school for illegal alien students.

A temporary "undocumented student coordinator" position at the University of Maryland may just become permanent, if the student government has its way.

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In a unanimous vote, the University of Maryland’s student government voted to create a permanent, full-time position to help illegal immigrant students. 

The position, titled the “Undocumented Student Coordinator,” has existed since 2017 in a temporary capacity, The Diamondback reported. The current coordinator is Laura Bohorquez Garcia but it is unclear if she will assume a possible full-time role. 

UMD first created the position after a student activist coalition called ProtectUMD made a list of 64 demands, allegedly to protect minority students following the 2016 presidential election. Creating a university position for illegal immigrant students was one of the demands. 

The school created the undocumented coordinator position “as part of the university's ongoing commitment to undocumented students” and to “address the immediate needs of the undocumented student population,” UMD Chief Communications Officer Katie Lawson told the Diamondback.

[RELATED: NJ forks over $1.6M for illegal immigrant college tuition]

Campus Reform reached out to Lawson for the reasoning behind making the coordinator position permanent, as well as to inquire about the position’s salary. Lawson directed Campus Reform to her associate, UMD Director of Communications Natifia Mullings, who told Campus Reform that UMD “will support this position through the fiscal year.” 

“The undocumented student coordinator is responsible for addressing the immediate needs of the undocumented student population,” Mullings added. 

The current estimate for Garcia’s salary is in the $50,000-$55,000 range. Garcia’s salary as of 2018 was $51,500 per year, according to the Diamondback. Other estimates from the Baltimore Sun and Washington Business Journal list Garcia’s salary at $53,000 and $55,000, respectively. 

The Diamondback also reported that the coordinator’s responsibility is to “provide resources and guidance” to an estimated 100 illegal immigrant students who attend UMD. This includes advising these students on their legal status, giving financial suggestions, and emotional aid. 

The “Undocumented Student Coordinator” position is one of several resources available to the illegal immigrant student population at UMD. According to the “Undocumented Student Resources” UMD webpage, illegal immigrant students have access to UMD counseling services and free legal aid, among other things. 

[RELATED: Illegal immigrant students now allowed positions on California college boards]

Since 2013, illegal immigrant students in Maryland have been eligible to receive lower tuition rates. 

UMD is not the only university that has provided resources or created coordinator positions for illegal immigrant students. Other institutions such as Georgetown University, the University of California, Loyola University of Chicago, and DePaul University have taken similar steps to protect illegal immigrant students. 

UMD did not confirm to Campus Reform whether it would follow make the position a full-time position following the student government vote.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @eduneret