UC Berkeley fails to support undocumented student Luis Mora in time of need

CAMPUS ISSUES: In the face of Mora’s detainment by ICE, campus administration must step up and give more support to undocumented students

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Kelly Baird/Staff

The UC Berkeley administration’s reaction to undocumented junior Luis Mora’s detainment by Border Patrol proves that the campus doesn’t give undocumented students the support they need.

Within days of Mora’s detainment on Dec. 30 in San Diego, campus immigrant rights organization Rising Immigrant Scholars through Education, or RISE at Berkeley, launched a massive social media campaign to call for Mora’s release. Catching the attention of several state officials, the campaign’s YouCaring page has been shared 2,000 times and has raised more than $13,787 as of press time.

And yet, in her statement released more than a week later, Chancellor Carol Christ appeared to take credit for the student organization’s work, claiming that the campus is working to connect Mora to legal advice and attorney services. In fact, RISE had already helped Mora connect with an attorney through its social media campaign, and in a tweet, the attorney said the campus isn’t paying them to work on Mora’s case.

RISE, in a strong rebuke of Christ’s statement, said that despite her claims, Christ had not reached out directly to student leaders about Mora’s case. Mora’s attorney, Prerna Lal, who also works for the campus-run Undocumented Student Program, does not even have an office on campus: Lal reserves office space on campus once a week to meet students in need.

RISE shouldn’t have to fill the holes left by the campus’s inconsistent support of undocumented students — UC Berkeley must ensure the Undocumented Student Program and RISE can hire more lawyers and have defined workspaces on campus.

The University of California has long advertised its history of supporting Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, students. But what about the undocumented students who are not DACA recipients, such as Mora? The political science major and pre-law student deserves as much institutional support as any other student admitted to the university.

Campus spokesperson Janet Gilmore previously told The Daily Californian that the campus is working “behind the scenes” to help secure Mora’s release. But invisible efforts aren’t enough. Now is the time for public action, and the UC Berkeley administration — which has repeatedly expressed support for the undocumented community — should proudly lead the charge.

Mora’s detainment isn’t an isolated incident; under President Donald Trump’s administration, all undocumented students are vulnerable. Orr Yakobi, an undocumented UC San Diego student, was detained Jan. 7 by Border Patrol after taking a wrong turn, just like Mora. Thankfully, Yakobi was later released amid the public outcry that his social media campaign garnered from the community.

The Berkeley community must continue to raise money for RISE’s efforts and use the #FreeLuis hashtag to maintain this public outrage over Mora’s detainment. Mora’s name cannot be forgotten. Our community must make every effort to help bring Mora home.

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  • roccolore

    The school won’t even support AMERICAN students.

  • I love Trump!!!

    He is here illegally. He is in violation of United States immigration laws.

  • BlackConservative

    I really think we need to look into our impoverished communities before donating your time or money to this type of cause. Just watch this video of the homeless population in LA, if you need a reminder of who we NEED to help! Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WtvKb5JxNwg

    • lspanker

      The dirty little secret is despite using black Americans as a reliable voting bloc while advocating policies that have made many of them permanent wards of the welfare state, the Democrats have essentially written them off and are courting illegal hispanics as their newest, fastest growing voter base.

  • dwss5

    Title of Editorial:
    ‘UC Berkeley fails to support undocumented student Luis Mora in time of need’

    I’d suggest that perhaps our state’s and Federal governments’ PURSESTRINGS are putting sufficient pre$$ure onto UC Berkeley to keep the latter from fully supporting RISE’s undocumented cause celebre student. Therefore, I think it should solely devolve upon *RISE* to raise the needed fund$ for supporting their own cause celebre, rather than thrusting the burden of support onto UC Berkeley and ultimately onto we state taxpayers.

  • jeyhovah

    It’s a sad day when an illegal has more chance of getting a scholarship at Cal than I ever did when I attended.

  • CapitalG

    Sounds like he is here illegally. He should be sent back immediately. He is stealing wealth and opportunity away from American citizens.

  • Iain MacAllester

    Who’s “outraged”?

    Maybe you wussies should buy more Bike Locks

  • FMarion

    Let me get this straight. The Editorial Board thinks that either (1) tuitions should increase; or (2) the taxpayers should kick in more so the University will have money to hire lawyers to defend “undocumented” immigrants (ie–those in this country in violation of the immigration laws)?

    Of, perhaps more likely, no one on the Editorial Board gave any thought about where the money would come from–they just think the University (or someone) is loaded with excess cash that should be used to pay for someone else’s lawyers.

    In a few years, after they graduate with their Berkeley degrees and are trying to repay their college loans with the money left in their paychecks after paying federal, California, Social Security, Medicare and who knows how many other taxes they might look back on this editorial with more than a tinge of embarrassment.

    • lspanker

      Keep in mind that these are the same type of misguided progressives who complain that our own poor can’t get ahead, but can’t see the connection between the flood of illegal aliens and the downward spiral of wages for unskilled labor. These people don’t even understand basic economic principles of supply and demand.

      • FMarion

        And the reason they don’t understand supply and demand is because most of them aren’t taught anything about it. Instead they are taught that everything can be fixed by the state. Thus, they’ve been taught that low wages are caused by businesses being greedy and that the answer to low wages is a higher “living wage” mandated by the government.

        They could not tell you what a “low margin” business is, and the idea that a business cannot pay a “living wage” if it does not have profits would perplex them–businesses, by definition, being rich and run by greedy people who don’t care about social justice or anything else important to snowflakes.

        They can tell you, though, that “gender” is a social construct that is wrongfully “assigned at birth,” that “white supremacy” infects everything and makes America a terrible place to live for “people of color”–and in addition is the only reason why our laws seek to prevent non-American people of color from trying to move to a country that is a terrible place for them to live. (Neither logic nor consistency wins prizes in social justice warrior classes). They can also tell you that women are oppressed here because of the patriarchy, but live lives of real freedom in places where Sharia is practiced because Islam is a beautiful religion of peace that is far superior to anything found in America.

        The amazing thing is that they are so parochial, so coddled and so much the prisoner of intellectually bankrupt political fads and fashions that not only do many of them actually believe the nonsense they parrot, but they actually think they are well educated.

        Amazing.

    • borogirl54

      He does not qualify for Federal aid, no Pell Grants or loans but he does qualify for state-funded grants and scholarships. The problem he will have is that once he graduates, he will not be able to get a job because he has no work permit.

  • Ann Thomsen

    There are 7 billion people … how many should we take? From where? Do Americans have a say in this?

    The country has spoken. WE WANT FEWER IMMIGRANTS, from anywhere. Black wants black, brown wants brown…. why can’t white European descendants want more like themselves?

    Why are WE the racists and xenophobes when Latinos RAIL for more of their own. Blacks RIOT for their own.

    We are divided by race. Why are only whites condemned for wanting more of what they created.???

  • Jeremy Meister

    We don’t have to obey your little laws: we’re Latino.

    Now shut your racist faces and go pay your inflated taxes. We Latinos need the money. :)

    • lspanker

      Word up – many legal hispanic citizens who have family roots in California going back over a century or more, resent the handouts and special provisions for illegal aliens as much as the anglos. You just don’t hear about it because the media tries to turn it into a race issue when it’s really a citizenship one…

  • s randall

    The link to an article in the UCSD student newspaper said that the ASUCSD got involved on behalf of the UCSD student that was detained. Why go after the Administration and not go after the ASUC?

  • lspanker

    Luis Mora violated our laws and took an admissions slot that could have been used for one of our own deserving hispanic/latino young citizens or at least a legal immigrant. Stop treating him as if he’s some sort of victim…

    • Fester N Boyle

      This crimmigrant can go home and work to fix his own country with what he learned in America. And what about his parents? Are they still here illegally also. If so, find them and prosecute them for their crimes against this child. Then deport them after the jail sentence.

      A few cases like this will motivate many more to self deport. After all, it’s better to leave before the courtroom appearances, than after the prison sentence.

      • dantheman08822

        I didn’t know Uncle Fester is a Trump troll. As well as being a complete a-hole. You’re on the wrong side of history, shmuck.

        • Fester N Boyle

          Poor lib loser. Has all the air leaked out of your blow-up Hillary doll?

        • California Defender

          Wrong side of history? I don’t think you know your history and thus are unable to predict the future.

          All you know is what you can consume under your nose. Certain hirudinea are very good at that, but without an unknowing or willing host, they are finished.

        • lspanker

          Let’s see if you can give us one good reason why we should not enforce our own immigration laws. Do you think we should just let anyone come into our country without any type of clearance with immigration authorities, and do you think other countries just let anyone come in as well?

        • roccolore

          You Mexicans are hypocrites.

          • lspanker

            In all likelihood he isn’t even a Mexican, more likely some smart-ass white liberal.

          • roccolore

            He’s still a hypocrite who would rather support Mexico than America. I’m smart enough to have read the Mexican immigration laws.

          • lspanker

            No question that he’s a hypocrite and ignoramus. I did want to make it clear that despite all the media rhetoric, all Americans of Mexican/hispanic descent aren’t onboard for amnesty for illegals. I have a Mexican-American friend from Salinas who has commented how the illegals not only pull down wages for local unskilled citizens, but have also flooded the local schools, hospitals and clinics with people who aren’t paying anything in the way of taxes. He commented that his grandparents had to pay their dues when they came to this country legally, so why should these illegals get a break?