Wednesday, November 13, 2019

A Message from Janet Napolitano, DACA Architect and University of California President


Dear friends and colleagues,

Yesterday was a milestone in the University of California’s continued fight to defend the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy that has protected nearly 700,000 undocumented young people, including roughly 1,700 UC students, who came to this country as children.
Since the Trump administration announced its intent to end DACA in 2017, UC has fought on behalf of those who rely on the policy. Over the past two years, we have prevailed in lower court cases that challenged the process by which DACA was ended. Yesterday, UC joined several other plaintiffs in Washington D.C. for oral arguments on the case at the Supreme Court of the United States.
I was honored to be in D.C. yesterday, along with Chair Pérez, to witness so many of our UC students — DACA recipients and allies — in front of the Supreme Court, using their voices to support DACA. And I was struck by the many business owners, religious entities, educational institutions and others that filed briefs in support of DACA.
From the very beginning, this case has been driven by our unwavering commitment to protecting UC students, faculty and staff who — through DACA — have been able to pursue their education, conduct cutting-edge research for the benefit of society, work legally to support themselves and their families, pay taxes and contribute to their communities in countless other ways. For all of them, this nation is home.

The court has until June 2020 to rule on the case and may not issue a decision for many months. But amidst the legal arguments, I want to focus on the significance of this moment to UC students, faculty and staff. The potential impact to our campuses and communities is immense, and I know that many feel the burden of uncertainty.
I want to emphasize that the University of California will remain a safe and welcoming environment. In accordance with our principles, we will vigorously protect the privacy and civil rights of the undocumented members of the UC community and will direct our campus police departments not to undertake joint efforts with any government agencies to enforce federal immigration law.
Every one of our ten campuses provides support services for undocumented and immigrant students, such as transition programs specific to these students, academic and financial aid advising, food pantries, graduate school preparation, connection to community resources and more.
Additionally, the UC Immigrant Legal Services Center at the UC Davis School of Law offers free immigration-related legal services to undocumented and immigrant students across the UC system.
UC will continue to do everything we can to support our undocumented and immigrant community through this difficult period as we wait for the Supreme Court to issue its ruling. And we will not stop advocating for a common-sense legislative solution on immigration.

Yours very truly,

Janet Napolitano


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