After a May 2023 commitment to devise an implementation plan by November 2023, Regents announced today that they will continue to deliberate in the coming weeks and months
Hayley Burgess, UCLA Center for Immigration Law and Policy, email@example.com
Silvia Vazquez, UCLA Labor Center and Dream Resource Center, firstname.lastname@example.org
LOS ANGELES, CA – Undocumented student leaders at the University of California secured a critical victory in the Opportunity for All campaign in May 2023 as the UC Board of Regents announced their commitment to move forward with removing hiring restrictions for all UC students, regardless of immigration status. Today, at a UC Regents meeting at UCLA, UC President Michael Drake announced that the university needed more time to come up with an implementation plan. He did not specify a timeline or date for when students can expect further updates.
This announcement came after undocumented students from over five UC campuses shut down the Regents meeting by refusing to leave until their voices were heard. They linked arms, shouted chants, and were ultimately forcibly removed by police. The students continued to chant outside the meeting and concluded when a small group of Regents agreed to meet with them.
“We were not surprised, but still deeply disappointed by the university’s failure to share concrete progress towards ensuring access to equitable employment opportunities for undocumented UC students. For more than a year now - and especially since the UC’s public commitment to us in May - we have been advocating and making strong efforts to partner with the UC to come up with an equitable implementation plan,” said Jeffry Umaña Muñoz, UCLA undergraduate student and organizer with the Undocumented Student-Led Network. “The UC has the legal right and the moral obligation to fully implement Opportunity for All today. Anything other than full, swift implementation is a delay tactic, and we will not accept it. We hope the Regents will work with us to reach a plan that works for us all. In the meantime, we will not stop advocating and organizing until we get our first check.”
“The UC has made a promise to its students, and people around the country are watching to see how it will fulfill this promise,” said Ahilan Arulanantham, faculty co-director of the Center for Immigration Law and Policy (CILP) at the UCLA School of Law. “We have provided UC with a comprehensive implementation plan that could quickly be put into effect. I hope the UC will use this additional time to work intensively with us and undocumented student leaders to ensure that hiring begins at the start of next year. The students have already had to study for too long in a system that denies them the educational employment opportunities available to their peers. They deserve nothing less than full equality now.”
Leading scholars of immigration and constitutional law from around the country have shown the University of California has the power under existing law to provide its undocumented students equal access to educational employment opportunities. The consensus is clear: the UC has the right to employ all students, regardless of immigration status, today.
Because the protections provided by DACA have never been updated, almost all undocumented youth now entering higher education are not eligible for its protections. In California, there are already approximately 44,326 undocumented college students who are not eligible for DACA, and 27,000 undocumented students graduating from high school each year. Undocumented students in California cannot apply for jobs and other employment opportunities simply because of their status. This includes graduate student researcher and teaching assistant positions, work study jobs, paid internships, and student leadership positions in campus organizations, and other educational and professional opportunities for deeper involvement with their institutions.
About UCLA CILP:
Founded in 2020, the Center for Immigration Law and Policy (CILP) at the UCLA School of Law expands the law school’s role as a national leader in immigration law and policy, generating innovative ideas at the intersection of immigration scholarship and practice and serving as a hub for transforming those ideas into meaningful changes in immigration policy.
About the UCLA Labor Center:
The UCLA Labor Center believes that a public university belongs to the people and should advance quality education and employment for all. The center’s research, education, and policy work lifts industry standards, creates jobs that are good for communities, and strengthens immigrant rights, especially for students and youth.
About the Undocumented Student-Led Network:
The mission of the Undocumented Student-Led Network (USN) is to create a statewide network of immigrant youth leaders to work towards advancing an immigrant reform agenda.
About the UCLA Dream Resource Center:
The UCLA Dream Resource Center (DRC), a program team of the UCLA Labor Center, trains the next generation of diverse leaders—immigrant youth and allies with lived experiences—to be at the forefront of social justice movements and achieve equity and justice for workers, families, and communities.