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‘Opportunity for All’ campaign asks UC to hire undocumented students after DACA ruling

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In the wake of the October federal ruling on DACA, the Undocumented Student-Led Network, advocates, and legal experts petition the UC to maintain its support for undocumented students.


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NOVEMBER 06, 2022

A campaign is pushing the UC system to allow the hiring of undocumented students following an October ruling that prohibits new undocumented immigrants from applying to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program.

Spearheaded by the Undocumented Student-Led Network, or USN, the campaign, called “Opportunity for All,” sent a letter to UC President Michael Drake last month demanding job accessibility for undocumented students.

“For years, the UC has known about the growing problem of its undocumented students coming to school without DACA,” said Jeffry Umaña Muñoz, retention director for USN, in an email. “With DACA hanging by its final thread, the vast majority of its current undocumented students now without DACA, it is critical that the University engage and implement true solutions to directly respond to this community’s needs to their fullest extent possible.”

Umaña Muñoz noted there are a “myriad of obstacles” that undocumented students already face to access and complete higher education.

Affording their education is one of the most challenging, he noted.

“Allowing undocumented students to access on-campus jobs enables these students to access educational and professional job opportunities that supplement their studies while allowing them to afford their college education and basic needs,” Umaña Muñoz said in the email

Opportunity for All is being led in partnership with UCLA legal experts, Umaña Muñoz noted. In a letter, the deans of UC Berkeley’s and UC Davis’ law schools and more than 28 leading constitutional and immigration scholars voiced their support for the proposal.

The scholars’ letter claims that while federal law prohibits the hiring of undocumented immigrants, it does not bind state government entities, including the UC system, from doing so. The campaign therefore requires no political negotiation or legislative compromise to be accomplished, according to Umaña Muñoz.

Umaña Muñoz added that the DACA ruling makes it clear that the federal judiciary is phasing out the program.

“This means that current DACAmented student workers will soon not only lose their protection from deportation, but their ability to access employment and professional opportunities to advance their education and meet their basic needs,” said Umaña Muñoz in the email.

Umaña Muñoz added that while Opportunity for All does not provide deportation protection, it does ensure that undocumented students, with or without DACA, are able to access the necessary means of financial support and professional opportunities to prosper and succeed.

He noted that the UC system now has an opportunity to uphold its commitment to undocumented students by providing them with the “legally sound avenue” to campus employment opportunities.

The university has received the proposal and is in the process of managing its “appropriate next steps,” according to Stett Holbrook, a spokesperson for the UC Office of the President. Holbrook added that the university has “long been committed” to supporting its undocumented students.

Umaña Muñoz called for undocumented students and allies to sign onto the USN’s letter and keep up with the campaign to mobilize and implement Opportunity for All.

“We are just as much constituents and members of the UC community as any other student,” Umaña Muñoz said in the email. “We are simply asking that the University recognize that truth and embrace our proposal.”

Contact Carolyn Yu at 


NOVEMBER 06, 2022