STATE OF CALIFORNIA
ELOY ORITZ OAKLEY
CALIFORNIA COMMUNITY COLLEGES CHANCELLOR’S OFFICE
1102 Q STREET, SUITE 4400
SACRAMENTO, CA 95811-6549
September 5, 2017
Today's decision by President Trump to unwind Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is extremely disappointing to all of us. The move to end DACA is a heartless and senseless decision that goes against American ideals and basic moral decency. The announcement will no doubt stir even more fear and confusion among our undocumented students, and we as college leaders must act quickly and decisively to reassure all students, regardless of immigration status, that they are welcome and valued on our 114 campuses. I know many of you have activated rapid response counseling services for students affected by this decision, and I commend your proactive approach.
Earlier today, myself, University of California President Janet Napolitano, California State University Chancellor Timothy P. White, Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities President Kristen Soares and Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson sent a letter to California’s Congressional delegation imploring this Congress to permanently resolve this issue before more lives are disrupted. Many of you will recall that last November, we appealed to the president following his election to preserve DACA, pointing to the positive contributions of these students, some of whom have defended this country serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.
Today, I convened the Chancellor's Office DACA Rapid Response Committee that I formed back in January to mobilize in the event of an imminent threat to our DACA students and to pursue strategies to defend DACA. The committee that met this afternoon is composed of members of the Board of Governors, key Chancellor's Office staff, college presidents and leadership of the Academic Senate for the California Community Colleges.
Activation of this committee follows months of outreach activities and advocacy efforts by the Board of Governors, the Chancellor's Office and committed partners from every corner of our community college family, as well as from other higher education segments, to lobby for the continuation of DACA and to support students threatened by uncertainty in today's immigration policy climate. Key takeaways from today’s events include:
Although we are discouraged by today’s news, we remain committed to serving and supporting all students, regardless of immigration status, and seeing that they reach their full potential. We will stand with our students, and we will not give into fear.
Eloy Ortiz Oakley