The California State University system, including CSU, Chico, joined over 164 colleges and universities from across the country this month in signing an amicus brief supporting the roughly 700,000 young immigrants who came to the United States as children and who hold Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status. This “friend of the court” brief was coordinated by the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration.
“My heart goes out to the many young people and families in our country caught in this stressful situation. I take solace in knowing that, here at Chico State and within the CSU, we are collectively committed to fulfilling our educational and public mission as a safe, welcoming and inclusive learning and working environment for all,” said CSU, Chico President Gayle Hutchinson.
The US Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on November 12, 2019 and could decide on the fate of the DACA program between January and June of 2020, determining if recipients will lose the ability to study and work in the United States, and be at greater risk for deportation.
DACA recipients are American in every way, Hutchinson added, noting that these individuals built their lives in this country and contribute to our campuses, communities, and economy every day. With commitments to equity, diversity, and inclusion, Chico State is proud to support DACA recipients, and the University believes it is vital to protect this vulnerable population when their futures are in question.
“We will be watching this case very closely. There will be hundreds of students impacted on this campus and we are in conversations on how we will support students no matter the outcome,” said Teresita Curiel, director of the Dream Center and of Latinx Equity and Success.
The University’s Dream Center staff and the student organization Leading for the Advancement and Education of Dreamers regularly provide information on financial aid opportunities, health and wellness assistance, and academic guidance to Chico State students regardless of immigration status. The Center also provides tools for advocacy and trainings on issues regarding immigration.
DACA provides work authorization and protection from deportation, enabling recipients to better support themselves and their families financially, build their career and access higher education. On September 5, 2017, the federal administration announced that it was terminating the five-year-old program, jeopardizing the futures of hundreds of thousands of young people. In the past two years, multiple courts have kept renewals ongoing for current DACA recipients, but recipients have still been forced to live court case to court case, uncertain about their futures and in fear of being separated from their families and the lives they have built over decades in the United States.
If this program is rescinded, DACA recipients will lose their ability to work and will be subject to increased risk of deportation. The amicus brief implores the Supreme Court to agree with what federal courts across the country have made clear: the administration’s decision to terminate DACA was unlawful and has caused irreparable damage to recipients, their families, and loved ones.