LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The University of California has sued the Trump administration over its decision to end a program protecting hundreds of thousands of young immigrants from deportation.
The lawsuit filed on Friday in federal court in San Francisco includes university president Janet Napolitano as a plaintiff.
Napolitano, who was secretary of the Department of Homeland Security from 2009 to 2013, created the DACA program in 2012.
The lawsuit – which asks the court to set aside the Trump administration’s rescission of DACA, which it alleges is “unconstitutional, unjust, and unlawful” – is the first to be filed by a university seeking to stop the Trump administration’s recently announced decision to end the DACA program.
“Neither I, nor the University of California, take the step of suing the federal government lightly, especially not the very agency that I led,” Napolitano said. “It is imperative, however, that we stand up for these vital members of the UC community. They represent the best of who we are — hard working, resilient and motivated high achievers. To arbitrarily and capriciously end the DACA program, which benefits our country as a whole, is not only unlawful, it is contrary to our national values and bad policy.”
Officials say UC has approximately 4,000 undocumented students – a “substantial number of whom” are DACA recipients – as well as teachers, researchers and health care providers.
The action will continue to allow California residents who are DACA recipients to pay in-state tuition, as well as provide legal services to undocumented students, according to the university.