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Students Avoiding College Over Fear of Prop. 187, Educator Says

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

While the courts decide the future of Proposition 187, some illegal immigrant students are postponing or abandoning their plans for a university education because of fear of being deported, said Gonzalo Rojas, assistant director of the equal opportunity program at San Diego State.

Some students told Rojas “they would not apply for fear of putting themselves in jeopardy,” the official said Friday at a conference of Latino leaders at UC Riverside.

If Proposition 187 is upheld by the courts it would require public schools, including colleges and universities, to verify the immigration status of students and to report those they suspect of being undocumented to authorities .

Los Angeles federal Judge Mariana R. Pfaelzer has blocked enforcement of almost the entire initiative but she has not enjoined the measure’s higher education section. A San Francisco Superior Court judge issued a restraining order that bars public colleges and universities from enforcing the measure’s education sections. On Feb. 8, the court will decide whether to issue an injunction to continue that ban.

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The Riverside conference, the largest gathering of Latino leaders since the passage of Proposition 187, will continue today.


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