Ohio State’s Undergraduate Student Government’s General Assembly on Wednesday passed a resolution encouraging the inclusion of naturalization and immigration services through the expansion of Student Legal Services.
The resolution, which was sponsored by Senator Savannah Sockwell and co-sponsored by 18 other members of the General Assembly, states that Student Legal Services has agreed to expand its services to include naturalization and immigration service at no increased costs to students, provided Ohio State agrees to expand the contract.
“Basically, [Ohio State doesn’t] offer any types of help for students who are going through any type of immigration issues or need naturalization services,” Sockwell said.
The resolution, which was passed with unanimous consent, states that USG supports the renewal of Student Legal Services’ contract with the university to provide discounted legal services for all students, and also encourages revising it to include certain immigration and naturalization legal matters.
USG Vice President Shawn Semmler said that the full-representation services Student Legal Services is looking to offer under immigration and naturalization include change of status, employment, post-graduate education, assistance in bringing international spouses to the United States and United States permanent residency.
Semmler said the resolution was inspired by the University of Central Florida and the University of Michigan, both of which have similar services already implemented.
“We thought, ‘If they can do it, why can’t we do it?’” Semmler said.
Senator Ose Arheghan said although the resolution had been approved by the Council of Graduate Students, Student Legal Services represents more undergraduate students, placing more meaning on the passage of the resolution in USG.
According to the resolution, Ohio State has over 3,800 undergraduate international students.
Kayla Wilson, director of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee, said that unofficial data estimates around 100 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) students attend Ohio State.
“There’s people at SLS that have the capability and resources to help them through whatever they need,” Wilson said.