Photo: Janet Napolitano
Janet Napolitano, the incoming president of the University of California (UC) public university system is faced with an interesting request from students in her schools – make them deportation safe.
Napolitano was the former head of the Department of Homeland Security which oversaw a record number of deportation, 1.6 million, under her leadership. As a result there is concern amongst California college students especially the undocumented students that she might be apt to start deportations as students attend classes.
A student coalition led by undocumented student activists has created an online petition through the “Dream Activist” network urging Napolitano to make all 10 UC campuses “sanctuary” sites. The petition notes that UC has a long history of supporting “immigrant and undocumented students” in the state. California was one of the first sates to allow undocumented students to enroll in their public universities and offer them financial aid. Currently UC has 610 undocumented students according to ABC/Fusion.
Andrea Gordillo who helped launched the initiative noted, “There is a lot of concern because of Napolitano’s record with deportations—with programs like Secure Communities and other programs that she’s overseen as head of Homeland Security and as governor of Arizona.”
Napolitano is set to start in her new role sometime this month. She is the former Arizona governor and attorney general.