“Maybe one day.” That’s what Marithza Quiroz remembers thinking while she used to drive by the UC Berkeley campus after first moving to the Bay Area several years ago. As an undocumented immigrant from Mexico, she wondered if there would ever be room for her at a place like Berkeley.
In 2020, Quiroz graduated from the university with a bachelor’s degree in American Studies.
Quiroz was one of many undocumented UC Berkeley students who shared stories of their immigrant journeys at the opening of the Robert D. Haas Undocumented Community Resource Center in February. The center is a dedicated space where undocumented students can find a variety of supports to help them succeed at Cal and beyond, from academic counseling and mental health support to a quiet place to study.
Quiroz and the other students at the opening ceremony were joined by UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ and other university officials, as well as a variety of allies and friends.
Quiroz predicted that the new center will be an invaluable resource for undocumented students and their families for years to come. “This space is for you now and it is waiting for you,” she said. “Without a doubt you belong here.”
This video captures some of the remarks at the opening event, including the students’ powerful stories.