A Jewish Family Service building in Kearny Mesa. File photo

Jewish Family Service of San Diego announced a partnership Tuesday with eight local community colleges to provide free immigration legal assistance to students, faculty and staff.

The organization’s Higher Education Legal Services program will be available to Cuyamaca, Grossmont, Imperial Valley, MiraCosta, Palomar, City, Mesa and Southwestern colleges when it rolls out next year.

Students, faculty and staff at the eight colleges will have access to legal consultations, benefit application help and various workshops and outreach events.

In a report released earlier this year, the California Community Colleges Dreamers Project identified free and low-cost legal support as one of the top-three most pressing needs for students, faculty and staff without legal documentation.

JFS’ program will be facilitated in collaboration with the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office, the Foundation for California Community Colleges and the California Department of Social Services as part of a statewide pilot program.

“The immigration legal resources JFS will provide to students, faculty and staff includes initial consultations, DACA renewals, green card renewals, naturalization, ‘Know Your Rights’ sessions and more,” said JFS immigration specialist Veronica Ayesta. “This partnership continues JFS’s over 100-year-old tradition of `welcoming the stranger’ and supporting immigrants in our region.”

JFS currently offers immigration legal services to students, faculty and staff at San Diego State University and Cal State San Marcos.

More information about the program can be found at jfssd.org/hels.

— City News Service

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