The University of California Board of Regents voted at a May 18 open session to create a working group dedicated to establishing a plan to remove hiring restrictions for undocumented students.
The decision comes after a number of University of California (UC) community members advocated for the Opportunity for All campaign — an initiative that calls for the employment of undocumented students — at the Regents’ May 16 and 17 meetings.
“After an in-depth discussion, consistent with the adopted policy statement, the Board of Regents appointed a Regents working group that, by the end of November of this year, will consider relevant issues and develop an implementation plan and a legal strategy. The working group will determine whether, how and when to implement next steps,” UC President Michael V. Drake and Board of Regents Chair Richard Leib said in a public statement.
The Opportunity for All campaign — supported by research from the Center for Immigration Law and Policy (CILP) at the UCLA School of Law, in collaboration with Undocumented Student-led Network (USN) — highlights that the federal prohibition on hiring undocumented people does not apply to the UC.
The UC’s decision to create the working group aligns with the campaign’s goal of providing equal access to job opportunities for all students regardless of their immigration status.
“This is a huge step toward ensuring equal access to opportunities for all students across the University of California system,” UCLA graduate student in public policy and USN leader Karely Amaya said in a statement to UCLA Law. “This victory is the work of undocumented students who mobilized across campuses to ensure that we and our peers are no longer excluded from crucial educational employment opportunities solely because of our immigration status.”
Amaya hopes that the UC will act quickly in designing a plan to hire undocumented students.
“While this is an encouraging step in the right direction, we are continuing to stress the need for urgent action and to urge the UC to meet with us,” Amaya said. “My peers and I are continuing to suffer every moment we are denied equal access to educational employment opportunities on our own campuses.”
A version of this article appeared on p. 1 of the May 25, 2023, print edition of the Daily Nexus.