On Sept. 8, the University of California filed a lawsuit in federal court because of the violations made against the rights of its students through the repeal of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
The DACA program has provided around 800,000 undocumented adolescents with legal opportunities to reside, work, and obtain an education in the U.S. By ending the program, President Trump is putting all these immigrants at risk of deportation despite living here for a great deal of their lives.
UC has around 4,000 students who are undocumented, most of whom used DACA to their advantage. Not only does this pertain to students but also to teachers, researchers, and health care providers at the universities.
The first lawsuit to be filed by a university took place in the Northern District of California and was against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its secretary, Elaine Duke. On top of that, 15 states and D.C. filed lawsuits against the Trump administration after Attorney General Jeff Sessions stated that this act was “unconstitutional.”
Janet Napolitano, the UC president, stated, “Neither I, nor the University of California, take the step of suing the federal government lightly, especially not the very agency that I led.”
Napolitano created the DACA program in 2012 which established an application that would be open to immigrants who had graduated from high school or college, were in the military, or were discharged veterans.
Napolitano has also further voiced her support for UC minorities by saying that “it is imperative, however, that we stand up for these vital members of the UC community.”
Her strong beliefs on the matter were demonstrated through her explanations that these members are critical and “represent the best of who we are一hard working, resilient, and motivated high achievers.”
The lawsuit declares that Trump’s withdrawal of DACA did not consist of “reasoned decision making,” did not give notice, and disregards the rights of the university students.
Gavin Newsom, a Californian Governor, gave approval on the action and said, “the UC’s Dreamers and its staff are integral to the academic and intellectual fabric of our campuses, and it is paramount that the University protects the future workforce and families of California.”
Despite the end of DACA, the UC schools continue to provide resources for their undocumented students. They allow Dreamers to pay in-state tuition, provide the DREAM loan program for financial aid, offer legal services, encourage student service centers, and disallow campus police to detain, question, or arrest a person based on documentation status.