Anthony Gockowski, Campus Reform
The president of the University of California Student Association (UCSA) knocked his school’s administration for prioritizing the rights of lawful students over “undocumented” students at a Saturday board meeting.
“Obviously, we feel that the well-being of 3,500 undocumented students in the UC is more important than potential career aspirations,” Kevin Sabo said.
Sabo and the UCSA encouraged President Janet Napolitano to kick the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Agency off campus at a meeting in January. ICE, according to UCSA members, uses deplorable tactics, such as home invasions, causing illegal UC students to live in fear.
“ICE represents a terrifying and violent threat for undocumented students and families. These raids are morally reprehensible,” said UCSA chair Mohsin Mirza.
Napolitano explained that ICE and border patrol agencies are on campus for the benefit of students who are interested in pursuing a career in federal law enforcement, leading Sabo to argue that their careers are not as important as the well-being of undocumented students.
In response to Napolitano, the UCSA passed a resolution condemning UC’s cooperation with ICE as “threatening and unsafe.”
“Year after year, both the State and the UC fail to address one key issue that leaves the lives of thousands of students balanced on the edge of crisis: food and housing security. It is a problem neither the State nor University created, but is one they must partner to solve,” Sabo said at the time.
The resolution also proposed an increase in scholarship funds for undocumented students under the California DREAM Act. Earlier this month, UC announced that it has allotted $5 million in loans for distribution to undocumented students in response to pressure from the UCSA. The funds will go directly to students residing illegally in California but legal immigrants will be excluded from applying.
Sabo, whose UCSA voted to divest from the United States last year, blamed the DREAM Act’s slow momentum on Republican influence in congress.
“Congress with a majority of Republicans is not passing immigration reform. We should be realistic and not expect anything from that level,” Sabo said.
The UCSA will meet with Napolitano in March to discuss ICE’s role on campus. Although Napolitano said she would consider condemning ICE’s home invasions, no official action has been taken.
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