By Refilwe Gqajela
On issues of concern to immigrants and our families, UC President Janet Napolitano is guilty of either serial hypocrisy or a troubling pattern of empty political grandstanding.
As Secretary of Homeland Security, she implemented former President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which has shielded 800,000 young people from deportation.
But during her DHS tenure, she also set new records every year in deportations, creating the so-called “Secure Communities” program that effectively turned local police and sheriffs across our country into Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. Ironically, the only thing that Napolitano has helped secure is the divide between Dreamers and the rest of the undocumented population, allowing hardworking immigrants like UC employee Jesus Gutierrez to be deported and unjustly cast aside as lesser.
With such a mixed record, Napolitano’s eventual appointment as UC president with no prior academic experience predictably ignited a firestorm of controversy. As a savvy politician, she initially sought to quell it with a small commitment of financial support for undocumented students.
And absent a few tuition hikes in the name of preserving bloated executive salaries and recent revelations of a secret $175 million slush fund at UCOP, Napolitano has successfully made efforts to avoid publicly antagonizing immigrant students as a whole. However, the same cannot be said for immigrant workers.
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[Source]: UCSD Guardian