Univ. of California System Adopts New Immigrant Protection Policies

The policies are a response to statements made by President-elect Donald Trump during his campaign.

The University of California system announced it would not cooperate with federal immigration officials on certain requests Wednesday.

UC President Janet Napolitano released a statement saying the university system would refuse to turn over confidential records without a court order or supply information for any national registry based on race, national origin or religion, according to the Los Angeles Times.

“While we still do not know what policies and practices the incoming federal administration may adopt, given the many public pronouncements made during the presidential campaign and its aftermath, we felt it necessary to reaffirm that UC will act upon its deeply held conviction that all members of our community have the right to work, study and live safely and without fear at all UC locations,” President Napolitano said.

The statement also criticized a proposal Trump made while campaigning to create a database where all Muslims in the country must register.

“A federal effort to create a registry based on any protected characteristics… would be antithetical to the United States Constitution, the California Constitution, federal and state laws, and principles of nondiscrimination that guide our university,” UC’s statement said.

UC will also continue to admit eligible students regardless of immigration status and will take a similar approach when treating patients at its medical centers.

The announcement comes after Napolitano assigned a group to consider possible options following President-elect Donald Trump’s victory.

Napolitano had previously created a deferred deportation policy as secretary of Homeland Security under the Obama administration that protected certain people who were enrolled in school and stayed out of trouble. Trump said he would end that program during his presidential campaign.

The UC system’s announcement also specifically addressed the role of campus police in federal immigration matters, saying officers will decline federal requests to detain individuals unless they are wanted for serious felonies. The statement also asserted that campus police should use their resources to build a “safe and secure environment” rather than assist in immigration cases.

The UC system includes ten campuses that enroll almost a quarter of a million students collectively.

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