University of California President Janet Napolitano blasted President Trump's decision to end a program that deferred deportation for 800,000 young immigrants and urged Congress to pass bipartisan legislation to protect them.
"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," she said in a statement.
Napolitano, who crafted the original Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy when she was U.S. Homeland Security secretary in the Obama administration, said the 10-campus UC system would continue to offer services for students who are in the country illegally. About 4,000 such students — also known as Dreamers — attend UC schools, with the largest number at UCLA and UC Irvine.
California state leaders Tuesday denounced the Trump administration's decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, calling it "callous" and "cowardly."
President Trump's decision to end the program, which grants protections for immigrants brought into the country illegally as children, affects more than 800,000 nationwide, a quarter of whom are in California.
President Trump's decision to abandon existing protections for young men and women in the United States without legal status will likely draw a sharp rebuke from Gov. Jerry Brown and an assortment of California elected officials, all of whom have vowed to take extraordinary measures to keep those immigrants from being deported.
As State Senator representing the Inland Empire and the state with the most Dreamers, I find it appalling that President Trump would take this misguided action on DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals). These young people enrich our local communities, strengthen our country and are a reflection of the values that make America great. To shut the door of the country they call home in their face is not only wrong—it is inhumane and contrary to who we are as Americans. I will fight alongside our federal and state representatives in the weeks and months ahead to ensure that Dreamers are able to continue living, working, studying and making a life for themselves and their families in the United States.
State Sen. Connie Leyva (D-Chino)
Sep. 5, 2017, 8:35 a.m.
It's time for members of Congress to stand up and be counted
Young people currently shielded from deportation and allowed to work legally under the DACA program will begin losing their protection in March unless Congress acts before then, the Trump administration announced Tuesday.
In the meantime, the administration will continue to renew two-year work permits as they expire but will stop accepting new applications for the program.
Now that President Trump is putting what should happen to the "Dreamers" on Congress’ agenda, vulnerable Republicans will be squarely at the center of the debate.
The Trump administration's announcement Tuesday about the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program could have a broad effect on Democratic efforts to retake control of the House in 2018, and nowhere more so than in California, where more than a fourth of the estimated 800,000 recipients, often called Dreamers, are thought to live.
To secure the 24 seats they need, Democrats are specifically targeting nine of the Golden State’s 14 Republican members of Congress, several of whom represent districts with large minority populations. Stories of the 200,000 or so Californians affected by this decision likely will be a recurring theme of campaigns for the next year.