U of California files suit against Trump administration over DACA rescission
- The University of California is the first institution to sue the Trump administration over its decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, according to a Friday news release on the system's website.
- UC President Janet Napolitano created the program in her capacity as Secretary for the Department of Homeland Security during the Obama Administration (2009-2013). “The University faces the loss of vital members of its community, students and employees," she said in a statement. "It is imperative, however, that we stand up for these vital members of the UC community."
- The University of California has "approximately 4,000 undocumented students, a substantial number of whom have DACA, as well as teachers, researchers and health care providers who are DACA recipients," according to the statement.
Across the higher ed landscape, leaders of institutions large and small have reacted to the September 5 announcement by saying their main focus is on reassuring their students and making sure they feel welcome on campus. And UC's response is consistent with that sentiment: They're focusing on reassuring students by maintaining campus policies which allow DREAMers to receive in-state tuition and financial aid, providing legal services,and directing police not to harass students.
But while nearly all coverage has focused on the students, little attention has been paid to the impact of last week's announcement on faculty and researchers — perhaps because there is little data readily available about how many of these individuals are DACA beneficiaries. Projections for the K-12 teaching force cite "as many as 20,000" teachers who may be at risk of deportation if DACA is repealed, referencing the intentional effort by Teach for America to place undocumented teachers in classrooms around the country because of their ability to relate to the growing population of undocumented students.
However, President Trump has signaled that the intent may not be to end DACA's benefits across the board, but force Congress to take action to pass a permanent statute addressing the needs of these individuals. U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos offered an acknowledgement that DACA students "are not here of their own volition" and "they are serious about pursuing their education and contributing to our American society and culture," but said, “we are a nation of compassion, and we are also a nation of laws.” The Secretary has been criticized for taking days to respond, even as five previous education secretaries from both Republican and Democratic administrations issued a joint letter to Congress expressing their "deep concern" for the future of these students who "have already made our country stronger."
- University of California University of California sues Trump administration on unlawful repeal of DACA program
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