The UC Office of the President (UCOP) asked federal courts last week to keep the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program intact while the UC’s lawsuit against the Trump administration takes place, according to a UCOP press release.
This request follows UCOP and others filing suit against President Donald Trump and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) over the rescindment of the DACA program in September.
About 4,000 undocumented students are enrolled in and employed by the UC, many of whom are DACA recipients. At this time, it is unclear whether DACA recipients will be allowed to legally remain in the U.S. given the uncertaintly of the DACA program.
The DHS stopped accepting new applications and requests for permit renewals as of Sept. 5 and Oct. 5, respectively.
“DACA students at the university are an integral part of our community,” said UC President Janet Napolitano in a declaration issued on Oct. 23. “Their talent, perspectives and experiences are invaluable contributions to university life. [… The] defendants’ decision to rescind the program will have immense and devastating effects on the university and all of its students.”
Regardless of the lawsuit outcome, the UC has committed to providing in-state tuition rates, certain in-state grants and the California DREAM Loan Program to undocumented students. The UC also committed to supporting resources for undocumented students and directing police to not detain students based on presumed documentation status.
The 51-page joint legal motion filed by the UC on Nov. 1 claims the executive branch did not comply with standard suspension procedures or provide adequate reasoning or justification for rescindment of the program, which was established in 2012.
“The government’s decision fails to acknowledge the human and economic havoc that it will inflict on DACA recipients, their families, schools, employers, employees, clients and communities,” the joint motion states. “[…] Had the government considered such factors — including the rescission’s devastating impact on DACA recipients and their families and its broader consequences for local governments, employers, educators and the economy — the rescission could not reasonably have been adopted.”
The joint motion case to maintain the DACA program during legal proceedings will be heard by United States District Court Judge William Alsup of the Northern District of California on Dec. 20.