The University of California has released a set of “principles” in which it declares that it will protect illegal aliens affiliated with the UC system from efforts by the federal government to enforce immigration laws.
Meanwhile, UC President Janet Napolitano, the former Secretary of Homeland Security, has written an op-ed in the New York Times defending President Barack Obama’s 2012 “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” (DACA), which critics called a “Dream Act by fiat.”
These actions come in anticipation of tougher immigration enforcement by President-elect Donald Trump and his incoming Attorney General, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL).
In a statement, “University of California Statement of Principles in Support of Undocumented Members of the UC Community,” UC declares that “undocumented applicants with or without DACA status will be considered for admission on the same basis as any U.S. citizen or other applicant.”
It adds: “We will not release immigration status or related information in confidential student records, without permission from a student, to federal agencies or other parties without a judicial warrant, a subpoena, a court order or as otherwise required by law.”
The statement goes on to say that UC campus police will not detain illegal aliens, even when requested to by federal or local law enforcement: “The California Attorney General has concluded that civil immigration detainers are voluntary requests to local law enforcement and compliance is not mandatory.”
In her op-ed, “The Truth About Young Immigrants [sic] and DACA,” Napolitano argues that while DACA “has critics howling about presidential overreach, about brazen nose-thumbing at the rule of law and about encouraging others to breach the borders of the United States,” there are “careful, rational and lawful reasons for creating the program.”
Historically, DACA was created by President Barack Obama as a way to avoid being outflanked in an election year by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), who had proposed a law to allow children of illegal aliens to attain legal status under certain stringent conditions. Rubio’s effort highlighted Obama’s own broken promise to deal with immigration reform in his first term, and prompted activists, led by Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), to pressure Obama to take action. As Gutierrez recalled in his 2013 memoir, Still Dreaming: “…in the end he was outflanked by Marco Rubio.” The DACA policy was the result — and had the ironic consequence of slowing down the process for legal immigrants, in many cases stranding family members abroad.
So the DACA policy was not “careful, rational, and lawful” — nor was it constitutional, as it extended the prerogative of prosecutorial discretion to absurd lengths never intended by the Framers of the Constitution. Napolitano does not even really argue the point, merely asserting that “the program is not the same as amnesty” and urging sympathy for its beneficiaries.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. His new book, See No Evil: 19 Hard Truths the Left Can’t Handle, is available from Regnery through Amazon. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.