UC won't assist federal agents in immigration actions against students


The University of California announced sweeping actions Wednesday to protect its students who came into the country illegally, saying it would refuse to assist federal immigration agents, turn over confidential records without court orders or supply information for any national registry based on race, national origin or religion.

 “While we still do not know what policies and practices the incoming federal administration may adopt, given the many public pronouncements made during the presidential campaign and its aftermath, we felt it necessary to reaffirm that UC will act upon its deeply held conviction that all members of our community have the right to work, study, and live safely and without fear at all UC locations,” UC President Janet Napolitano said in a statement.

Napolitano said the university would “vigorously protect the privacy and civil rights of the undocumented members of the UC community.”

The policies, described as a statement of principles, mark the first unified approach toward federal immigration issues for the system’s 10 campuses, according to UC spokeswoman Dianne Klein.

Napolitano formed a task force to examine possible actions shortly after the presidential election of Donald Trump stirred widespread unease and uncertainty on campuses. UC does not track students’ immigration status but says about 3,700 have obtained in-state tuition benefits under AB 540, a 2001 law designed to help those in the country illegally. 

The UC president announced the new policies a day after she and the heads of the California State University and California Community Colleges sent a joint letter to President-elect Trump urging him to allow students without legal status to continue their educations. Trump, during his campaign, had said he would reverse an Obama administration program Napolitano created as Homeland Security secretary that deferred deportation proceedings against certain young people who stayed in school and out of trouble.

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