'I am so thrilled': University of California advances 'controversial' plan to employ undocumented students

'I am so thrilled': University of California advances 'controversial' plan to employ undocumented students

The University of California regents voted Thursday to work towards establishing a plan toward an employment program for undocumented students, Politico reports.

Per Los Angeles Times, the public university system's intent is to "challenge a 1986 federal law" — which bans "the hiring of immigrants without legal status" — under the argument "that it does not apply to states."

The plan, according to the publication, is to coordinate a "working group to examine that legal issue, along with practical considerations about how to roll out what is sure to be a controversial policy."

READ MORE: Senate votes to end President Biden resolution making it harder for immigrants 'to obtain legal status'


The prestigious university system of nearly 295,000 students already provides legal advice, financial aid and counseling to undocumented students. California’s Democratic-led Legislature has passed a series of laws since 2001 extending in-state tuition to more undocumented students and making it easier for them to apply for state financial aid, in sharp contrast to Republican-led states.The latest move by a higher education system with international visibility could be emulated by other universities that market themselves as immigration sanctuaries.

Regent José Hernández said the regents leadership "identifies UC as a progressive leader in the higher education system," adding it is his "hope that other states, other education entities will soon follow with us."

Board Chair Richard Leib added, "I want to do the best we can for our students, but I also realized that it does take time. We have to go through and analyze and talk to everybody, and make sure we're doing this the right way, so we have the best case forward."

LA Timesreports:

The groundbreaking move would reshape the lives of thousands of young people who were brought to the country without papers as children and have lived precariously without legal access to jobs, research positions and career opportunities. California is home to about 1 in 5 of the nation's college students without legal authorization.

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"This is a historic win for the immigrant rights movement that UC has agreed that undocumented students should have equal access, that we should have a seat at the table," UCLA public policy graduate student, Karely Amaya, toldLA Times, which noted she was "brought illegally from Mexico at age 2," and "lost out on a campus job that would have given her financial stability and research opportunities because of her status."

Amaya added, "I am so thrilled."

According to LA Times, the regents expect the working group's proposal tol be finalized by November.

READ MORE: Texas border Republican accuses GOP of using immigration crisis for political gain

Politico's full report is available at this link. Los Angeles Times' report is here (subscription required).

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