Finance

University of California Halts Plan to Hire Undocumented Students

Regents at the University of California postponed a plan to permit students without legal immigration status to hold campus jobs.

The board of regents voted to delay the plan for at least a year, Politico reported. The plan was put on hold after the regents, the governing board for UC, studied the legal ramifications of the plan.

“We concluded that the proposed legal pathway is not viable at this time, and in fact carries significant risks for the institution and for those we serve,” UC President Michael Drake said. “For that reason, it is inadvisable for the university to initiate implementation right now.”

KQED reported that if the plan had been approved and later found in violation of federal law, Drake said the school could face civil fines, criminal penalties, and debarment from federal contracting.

Politico said the decision to place the plan on hold came after outside legal opinion and calls from the Department of Homeland Security raised doubts by university officials.

Organizers of the plan were outraged by the decision, KQED said.

“Why do we have the system of separate-but-equal when we have undocumented students struggling, and we have in our hands ways to help them?” said Karely Amaya Rios, an organizer for the Opportunity for All campaign, which lobbied the regents to consider the hiring proposal.

Politico noted that the decision leaves around 4,000 undocumented students across the 10-campus system unable to hold campus jobs, as well as paid fellowships and residencies that some need to graduate.

Activists had argued that hiring the students wouldn’t violate federal law. They claimed that a congressional ban on such employment in the 1978 Immigration Reform and Control Act did not apply to states.

UC Regent John A. Pérez, a proponent of the plan, was saddened by the decision to hold off.

“Quite frankly, I wish I was more surprised,” Pérez said.

Meanwhile, Drake said the university will look for other ways to support the students, including increased “experiential learning” opportunities.

Jeffrey Rodack | editorial.rodack@newsmax.com

Jeffrey Rodack, who has nearly a half century in news as a senior editor and city editor for national and local publications, has covered politics for Newsmax for nearly seven years.


© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

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