October 09, 2019

Contact: Christina Jimenez


T 916.322.4004

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The California Community Colleges Board of Governors has joined more than 164 colleges and universities from across the country in signing onto a U.S. Supreme Court 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.

The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments Nov. 12 on the federal government’s plan to rescind the DACA program enacted in 2012. Lower courts have blocked the plan, prompting review by the Supreme Court. At issue is whether the federal government properly followed the Administrative Procedure Act in attempting to rescind the program.

“DACA is a commonsense program protecting law-abiding immigrants brought here as children who are working hard to improve their lives through education,” said Board of Governors President Tom Epstein. “DACA students are American in every way; they have grown up here and contribute to our campuses, communities and economy.”

DACA provided work authorization and protection from deportation to those who qualified, enabling them to better support themselves and their families financially, build their careers and access higher education.

The California Community Colleges estimates it serves between 50,000 and 70,000 undocumented students in the state, and the Migration Policy Institute estimates that half of that number are probably protected by the DACA program.

The California Community Colleges has a long history of supporting undocumented students, dating back to the 2001 passage of AB 540, which allowed undocumented students who meet certain qualifications to pay in-state tuition rates. Following the Trump Administration’s September 2017 announcement to rescind DACA, the Chancellor’s Office took swift action to advocate for undocumented students and the Board of Governors passed a resolution in support of DACA recipients and calling on Congress to preserve the program. An Undocumented Student Action Week is set for Oct. 14-18 throughout the California Community Colleges system.

The friend of the court brief was coordinated by the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration. A Supreme Court decision is likely by the end of June.

The California Community Colleges is the largest system of higher education in the nation, composed of 73 districts and 115 colleges serving 2.1 million students per year. California community colleges provide career education and workforce training; guaranteed transfer to four-year universities; degree and certificate pathways; and basic skills education in English and math. As the state’s engine for social and economic mobility, the California Community Colleges supports the Vision for Success, a strategic plan designed to improve student success outcomes, increase transfer rates and eliminate achievement gaps. For more information, please visit the California Community Colleges website or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.