Trump threatened thousands of undocumented students with decision to rescind DACA. UC Berkeley must fight back.

NATIONAL ISSUES: There shouldn’t be any question of an immigrant’s right to go to school here or to make a home here, but the political reality continues to undermine students’ legal statuses and lives.

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Kelly Baird/Staff

President Donald Trump put Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, on the edge, and threatened thousands of undocumented students in the UC system.

Trump, who left DACA’s fate up in the air for months, announced his decision to rescind the program Tuesday, with a six-month grace period.

Students whose status in the United States is in legal limbo face a steep uphill struggle in this country everyday. DACA, a relatively recent immigration policy established in 2012, provides some relief from the looming threat of deportation. In the UC system alone, there are an estimated 3,700 undocumented students.

There shouldn’t be any question of an immigrant’s right to live here, to go to school here or to make a home here. But because the political reality continues to undermine students’ legal statuses and lives, the University of California and the Berkeley campus must step up and expand their support services.

The university cannot just take an empty moral stance. After the November election, UC officials voiced their commitment to protecting the undocumented community, announcing UC campus police would not aid federal immigration enforcement efforts or release confidential student records without court orders. Last year, UC President Janet Napolitano made a three-year commitment to devote $8.4 million annually for undocumented students’ support. Recent events show, however, this is not enough.

With increasing uncertainty about their futures, undocumented students carry an unimaginable burden. Since Trump’s election, that small respite for DACA beneficiaries has been at risk, reflected by the increase in students who must turn to campus legal services for help.

The UC Immigrant Legal Services Center’s caseload rose dramatically to more than 800 for the 2016-17 year, as compared with 362 the previous year, according to the Los Angeles Times. It is reassuring to see UC Berkeley’s own Undocumented Students Program has recently hired an additional staff member for its mental health support.

But in the coming months, the university must boost both these legal and mental health services. It goes beyond simply allocating resources to undocumented students whose DACA status is being threatened — the campus must work to create a culture of respect for its students that should extend to all undocumented people in the United States. This community has been very clear about what it needs. All the university needs to do is listen.

For every one of the 3,700 undocumented students enrolled in the UC system, there are potentially hundreds of undocumented middle-school and high-school students aspiring to attend one of its campuses. Not only does the program ensure a level of stability for some UC students, but it also helps support a pipeline of undocumented K-12 students to a university that is historically unfriendly to minority populations. To repeal DACA is to close doors for young people.

At this tipping point, it is crucial that the university ramp up efforts in greater proportion than the political rhetoric that seeks to erase this segment of our community.

Editorials represent the majority opinion of the Editorial Board as written by the opinion editor.

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  • sven holmes

    we should deport all white people, viva la raza

    • sven holmes

      ay pinche cabron go back to europe puto

  • Man with Axe

    You wrote: “There shouldn’t be any question of an immigrant’s right to live here, to go to school here or to make a home here.”

    Regardless of one’s sympathies for the immigrants who arrived here illegally as children ( and I am sympathetic and I hope Congress will do something for them) that sentence is nonsense. An illegal immigrant has no right to be here at all: not to live here, not to go to school here, not to make a home here. Tell me of one country in the whole world that provides those rights for people who entered that country illegally. I’m not speaking of lax enforcement, which is probably common, but rather the actual rights you enumerate.

    Your sentence, taken literally, would require the US to admit the entire world into its borders.

    On the narrow issue of DACA, many Americans are concerned that it was done unconstitutionally. This doesn’t seem to be an issue to any undocumented persons, which itself tells us something about their allegiance to our rule of law.

    • zzz

      There isn’t enough of other peoples tax money to pay for the belief system of 20 something college know nothings,

    • CSears

      Taken literally, we are talking about Melania Trump who worked here illegally.

      As to your ‘constitutional’ question, President Obama signed the DACA order in June of 2012. There has been ample time for a constitutional question. Indeed, we had a national election shortly afterwards. So we’re just going to file your ‘many people’ under m for malarkey.

      Lastly, it is good that you are sympathetic. It shows strong moral character on your part.

      • lspanker

        Taken literally, we are talking about Melania Trump who worked here illegally.

        Is Melania Trump being supported by the taxpayers? Don’t think so.

        • CSears

          > Is Melania Trump being supported by the taxpayers? Don’t think so.

          Wow. I’m just speechless.

      • Man with Axe

        The Constitution doesn’t have an expiration date, so I don’t know what you mean by “ample time.” The order was unconstitutional by Obama’s own admission. Your national election is not how constitutional issues are decided. Maybe you didn’t know that.

        If you are happy with presidents making up laws as they go along, I hope you will be just as happy if Trump does the same. But somehow, I doubt it. Progressives only like executive overreach when the executive is progressive.

        • CSears

          Yes, it is true that progressives only like executive overreach when the executive is progressive. (NB: Obama was a centrist.) That should’t surprise anyone. But this wasn’t overreach as evidenced by the fact that there was a national election shortly after and Congress also had many chances to challenge or reverse it.

          In fact, something is un-Constitutional not because *you* say it is but because someone challenges it and the court finds it so. Ample time means that your ‘Constitutional complaint’ becomes exponentially less credible over time.

          Indeed I dunno where you went to school but we covered this as the ‘political question’ and courts generally defer that to Congress and the Executive Branch to settle this on their own.

          So basically I’m calling BS on your Constitutional objection. What Obama did was not un-Constitutional and what Cheeto undoes is not un-Constitutional.

          Let me put this in English: DACA is overwhelming supported in Congress even while Republicans in Congress liked to complain about it. That’s part of your core hypocrisy.

          • Man with Axe

            “But this wasn’t overreach as evidenced by the fact that there was a national election shortly after and Congress also had many chances to challenge or reverse it.”

            Congress considered the Dream Act and it was voted down. That is a strong constitutional argument that the Obama didn’t have the power he claimed to have. See Youngstown Sheet and Tube v. Sawyer. Truman made a similar argument regarding his supposed power to seize the steel mills shortly after Congress rejected giving the president that power in their consideration of Taft-Hartley. That consideration of a presidential power and the refusal to grant it was a convincing argument that Truman had no such statutory power.

            Your idea that a national election, the outcome of which is influenced by hundreds of issues, is evidence of what the electorate thinks of any one issue is absurd.

            I don’t believe that the president can make laws just because I like the laws he is making. I don’t want to live in a dictatorship of either party. Your core hypocrisy is that you do, so long as the dictator is on your side.

          • CSears

            > That is a strong constitutional argument

            No, that isn’t even a Constitutional argument nor is Youngstown Sheet remotely relevant. Congress or the States could file this case. They haven’t. Until then whatever.

            What President Obama did was Constitutional until and unless it gets overruled. I am not questioning Cheeto’s authority to undo it. But don’t try to Constitution this.

            And as for your dictator line, dude, you’re a conservative. You support Cheeto and before that you supported W. And don’t libertarian me either. If you want some respect around here, argue the merits of your position. Well, if you can.

          • Man with Axe

            Your assumptions show your arrogance. You don’t know me or whom I support. When someone starts with ad hominem attacks it’s pretty obvious he feels his arguments are weak. And I can live without your respect. I’ll be sad, but somehow I’ll manage.

            You say Youngstown is not relevant, but you don’t say why. I don’t think you know why.

            My dictator line obviously hit a nerve. Do you know who said Obama’s action was unconstitutional? Obama did, on numerous occasions. You know this but won’t admit it. If you think everything is constitutional until the court says it isn’t, well, if I remember correctly DAPA was ruled unconstitutional in US v. Texas. Why would DACA be any different? And now with Gorsuch on the court, DAPA’s 4-4 might be 5-4 against DACA. By your own standards DAPA is unconstitutional because the court said so. So what are you talking about?

            The idea that something is constitutional until the court says it isn’t not only allows a president to be a dictator until the court is able (and willing) to act, but it is an argument that the court cannot be wrong. What kind of legal philosophy is that?

          • CSears

            Your trail on other campus newspaper sites says enough. You trotted out your DACA is unconstitutional nonsense on the Minnesota Daily to a general lack of interest. Really, you’re not getting anywhere. You’re not getting anywhere there and you’re not getting anywhere here.

            Also when right wing nuts such as yourself trot out the Obama was a dictator line, it just strikes me as funny. Indeed, listening to conservatives talk about the Constitution is similar to listening to them talk about patriotism. You just don’t have any credibility.

            https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/us-warplanes-call-off-surveillance-of-an-isis-convoy-at-russias-request/2017/09/08/9a51ca4c-94d9-11e7-8482-8dc9a7af29f9_story.html

            Really.

          • Man with Axe

            Ad hominem. Not worth my time. You lose.

  • Nunya Beeswax

    The answer is to reform immigration law and procedure, not to do an end run around ICE entirely.

  • lspanker

    undocumented students

    You mean “illegal aliens”, correct? How DARE Trump prioritize the citizens of this country over law-breaking illegals. Who does the man think he is, the President?

    • Mitchell Zimmerman

      Is it really so reprehensible that these young people, who came here as small children, should not be deported to a country they scarcely have any memories of? The response, I suppose, is that the law’s the law. But it is curious that there conservatives have not joined the outcry against the amnesty/pardon granted to Joe Arpaio, who was found guilty of criminal contempt of court not by liberal judges but by GOP-appointed federal judges, for defying court orders that he stop unconstitutional conduct.
      How is it that so-called amnesty for innocent law-abiding young people is unacceptable, but criminals like Arpaio are entitled to a pardon?

      • lspanker

        Is it really so reprehensible that these young people, who came here as small children, should not be deported to a country they scarcely have any memories of?

        Their parents broke the law, their parents can go back home and bring their children with them. Otherwise, you’re providing an incentive to break the law.

        How is it that so-called amnesty for innocent law-abiding young people is unacceptable

        Ever consider that taxpayers who can barely pay for their own kid’s educations don’t wish to reward people who aren’t even here legally?

        • Mitchell Zimmerman

          And about amnesty for the criminal Arpaio?

          • lspanker

            We’re discussing illegals, Mitch – try to stay on track.

  • rychastings

    trump supports the rule of law, and the power of the legislature as guaranteed by the constitution instead of capricious executive actions. clearly you dont

    • Nunya Beeswax

      Well, he supports the rule of law when it’s convenient for him to do so and when it fits his purposes.

      (This does not particularly distinguish him from any other person who’s occupied the Oval Office within recent memory)

      • rychastings

        repealing executive actions created without the consent of the representatives of the states I would think would support the rule of law and division of powers

  • Simi S.

    UC berkeley needs more diversity and DACA is a great way in helping to diversify. Undocumented Americans are struggling and we need to put their priorities before those of the privileged citizens. Anyone who disagrees is obviously a xenophobe. #OpenBorders4UCBerkeley

    • SecludedCompoundTTYS

      haha, and racist