In a letter sent today (Nov. 29), University of California President Janet Napolitano joined with California State University Chancellor Timothy White and Eloy Ortiz Oakley, chancellor-designate of the California Community College System, in calling upon President-elect Donald Trump to continue the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and allow California and the nation’s students known as Dreamers to continue to pursue their education in the United States.
Dear President-Elect Trump:
College and university leaders across the country, and here in California, are concerned about reports regarding potential actions you might be considering, including ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. On behalf of DACA students currently pursuing their dream of higher education in the United States, we urge you to continue this important program and allow these young people to continue to pursue a college education and contribute to their communities and the nation.
DACA is rooted in the fundamental premise that no one should be punished for the actions of others. In order to be eligible for DACA, an individual must have been brought to this country as a minor, stayed out of trouble, and continued to pursue an education. These sons and daughters of undocumented immigrants are as American as any other child across the nation, in all but in the letter of the law. Some never even spoke the language of their native land. They do not represent a public safety threat. In fact, they represent some of the best our nation has to offer. They voluntarily came forward, out of the shadows, to participate in the DACA program.
The University of California, California State University, and the California Community College systems each have thousands of DACA students studying at our institutions. They are constructive and contributing members of our communities. They should be able to pursue their dream of higher education without fear of being arrested, deported, or rounded up for just trying to learn.
There will be time for a vigorous debate and dialogue around immigration reform in the days ahead, and we look forward to engaging with you in a healthy and constructive conversation on this important issue. But now, as you continue to build your new Administration and appoint members of your Cabinet, on behalf of these Dreamers, we implore you to let them know they are valued members of our communities and that they will be allowed to continue to pursue the American dream.
Yours very truly,
Janet Napolitano, President University of California
Timothy P. White, Chancellor California State University
Eloy Ortiz Oakley, Chancellor-Designate California Community Colleges