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 Tuesday.
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.
Educational services for such students include:
- In-state tuition for California residents who are Dreamers
- A loan program for financial aid
- Free legal services to students who are in the country without legal permission
- Campus-based student service centers
Napolitano last fall directed campus police not to contact, detain, question or arrest individuals based on suspected immigration status, or to enter agreements to undertake joint efforts to make arrests for federal immigration law violations.
“The University of California will continue to stand with Dreamers and their supporters as we fight to keep the program alive,” she said.