University of California President Janet Napolitano, U.S. secretary of homeland security from 2009 to 2013, released the following statement today (September 5) after President Trump announced his decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program:
“I am deeply troubled by President Trump’s decision to effectively end the DACA program and uproot the lives of an estimated 800,000 Dreamers across the nation. This backward-thinking, far-reaching move threatens to separate families and derail the futures of some of this country’s brightest young minds, thousands of whom currently attend or have graduated from the University of California.
“I call upon the U.S. Congress to immediately pass bipartisan legislation that would provide a permanent solution for these young people — one that charts a secure pathway toward citizenship and allows these Dreamers to continue to live, work and serve the only country most of them know as home. These youth need our protection and encouragement, and it is incumbent upon Congress to approve legislation that removes the uncertainty caused by President Trump’s misguided decision.
“The University and the state of California stand together in our belief that students should be admitted to UC and other institutions of higher education based on their records of achievement and without regard to their immigration status. President Trump’s decision undermines the ability of affected students to support themselves while at UC or other universities. In light of today’s decision, I am immediately directing my advisory committee on undocumented students to determine how best to support and protect University of California students who rely on DACA over the next six months and beyond. In the meantime, UC will continue to offer services to our undocumented students, including:
- Continuing to allow California residents who are Dreamers to pay in-state tuition;
- Maintaining the DREAM loan program for financial aid;
- Offering legal services to our undocumented students;
- Supporting campus-based student service centers; and
- Directing campus police not to contact, detain, question or arrest individuals based on suspected undocumented status, or to enter agreements to undertake joint efforts to make arrests for federal immigration law violations.
“The University of California will continue to stand with Dreamers and their supporters as we fight to keep the program alive.”