When she’s not hiking or spending time with her family, attorney Elda S. Rosales, located in San Bernardino, aims to bring immigration-related assistance to the community. Graduating from University of La Verne College of Law, she joined the CARECEN team in August of 2019 and has since guided students from CSUSB and Cal Poly Pomona.
Q: What is CARECEN?
A: CARECEN is a nonprofit organization established in 1983 by a group of refugees seeking to change an unjust immigration system. CARECEN empowers Central Americans and all immigrants by defending human and civil rights, working for social and economic justice and promoting cultural diversity.
Q: When and where on campus can the program be located?
A: We are located in the career center, however appointments can be made online or at USSC (Undocumented Student Success Office) on campus. I am still providing services to students. However, we are providing services exclusively through zoom.
Q:What does it offer to CSUSB students?
A: CARECEN offers free immigration consultations and representation in a variety of cases including VAWA, U-Visa, T-Visa, Family Based Petitions, DACA renewal and many more. We offer workshops like Know Your Rights and other general immigration updates.
Q:Any events students can look into held by CARECEN?
A: We host workshops on campus at least once a month for students, staff and faculty to attend. Due to COVID-19, I am doing webinars for students ranging in topics from immigration to the CARES Act stimulus package.
Q: Who is the legal team assigned to CSUSB?
A: At the moment each campus has a team of legal staff providing free consultations and other immigration related relief. Currently, the San Bernardino team is comprised of one staff attorney, myself and one legal assistant, under the supervision of supervising attorney Sabrina Rivera.
Q: Why can students trust CARECEN and the legal team assigned to CSUSB?
A: Each student who meets with our legal team is protected by confidentiality. This means that whatever the student discloses to us is only between the CARECEN legal staff. Their information is never discussed with the USSC staff or any CSUSB administration. Each member of the CARECEN CSUSB has a personal connection in immigration and the SB community at large. We also conduct Cafecito with CARECEN that are on a more personalized setting so students get to know us one on one.
Q: What are the major setbacks as to why a student might not want to seek help? And what does CARECEN do to ensure that these students feel safe?
A: I believe it is fear; it is scary to trust someone with your life, especially when they are new to campus. We are working with the USSC to try to combat that fear by posting takeover Tuesday posts on the USSC Instagram. This gives students a chance to get to know us personally. We also make sure that students have access to our contact information like phone numbers and emails so they can reach out. At the end of the day, we are a resource for students. We’re here to give them options, but the decision is in the students’ hands.
Q: What is your end goal for the students?
A: My experience has lead me to believe that students are looking for clarity. They are looking for a possible solution to this situation in their life. Even if we cannot solve that problem right away, I believe that empowering them with knowledge of their options and rights is a way of leading them to their intended goal.
Q: Why and when should students consider CARECEN for help?
A: Students are encouraged to speak to us if they ever have any immigration related questions even if it is just a general question on what is going on in the immigration world. We also provide Know Your Rights presentations so we can inform students as to their rights under the constitution as an undocumented person, or DACA-mented person.
For students and others seeking more information on how to set-up a virtual appointment with Rosales or want to keep up with the latest from CARECEN, visit Immigration Updates with CARECEN.