Decision on hiring undocumented students delayed by UC

UC regents have punted the issue to next year.

The University of California’s governing board has decided to delay a vote on whether to allow undocumented students to apply for jobs on its 10 campuses.

The Board of Regents voted 9-6 to postpone the decision until 2025.


The big picture: University of California President Michael Drake expressed concerns during Thursday’s meeting about the proposed legal pathway for the student work plan, citing “significant risk” for the institution and students.

  • The policy could potentially put undocumented students at risk of criminal prosecution and deportation, while also exposing the university system to fines and criminal penalties for employing them.
  • This policy could have benefited up to 4,000 undocumented students who were previously eligible to work under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
  • The DACA program, which prevented the deportation of immigrants brought to the U.S. as children, was declared illegal by a federal judge in September 2023. 
  • The university system’s policy would challenge a 1986 federal law prohibiting people without immigration status from legally working.

What they’re saying: Some regents who opposed the delay expressed disappointment, calling it a missed opportunity for the university system to support the rights of undocumented students.

  • “We are taking a pause at a crucial moment on an issue that requires our commitment,” said UC Regent John Pérez. “If you stand and say this is the time for us to actually be bold, and take individual and institutional risks then you speak to a different sense of moral authority.”
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