Tuesday, December 10

Editorial: Funding for undocumented immigrants needs more permanent solution


Last Wednesday, University of California President Janet Napolitano promised $8.4 million in annual funding to support undocumented students through 2019.

The money is an extension of the $5 million Napolitano dedicated for undocumented UC students when she came into office in 2013. The funding was set to expire in June, but new annual funds will continue support for financial aid as well as the UC Undocumented Legal Services Center at UC Davis. The uncertainty of this funding leading up to last week’s UC Board of Regents meeting prompted protests pressuring Napolitano to renew the funding.

While the total allocation, which will be over five times more than what Napolitano promised in 2013, is promising, the expiration date shows that progress still needs to be made. Setting expiration dates only serves to create uncertainty among students whose futures are already held in tenuous balance due to patchwork governmental policies.

READ MORE: UC announces $8.4M annual allocation to support undocumented students

Napolitano must institutionalize funding for undocumented students to dispel any notion that the UC’s support for undocumented students is temporary.

For many undocumented students, this funding is essential. Undocumented students are ineligible for federal loans, unable to qualify for work study and, if ineligible for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, are often unable to get work permits.

In addition, funding for textbooks and other relevant services in the form of fellowships are essential to supporting students throughout their education.

Although Napolitano has made strides by committing a large portion of discretionary funding to the undocumented community, it’s not enough. Institutionalizing the same amount of money may currently be impossible, but ensuring a smaller fund with no expiration date will exemplify a valuable and necessary commitment to the undocumented students community.

With regular funding, many of the services for these students could develop in a way that meaningfully and sustainably supports undocumented students navigating the legal system and higher education.

Services like the UC Undocumented Legal Services Center desperately need to be expanded and require funding from the UC to do so. The limited lawyers available at the center are far from sufficient, but with stable funding, future plans to hire additional staffers could be implemented.

The allocation of these funds temporarily assuages fears that funding for resources such as the UC Undocumented Legal Services Center and Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act loans would not be renewed, but fails to ultimately address the larger problem at hand.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someoneShare on Google+Share on Reddit

Comments are supposed to create a forum for thoughtful, respectful community discussion. Please be nice. View our full comments policy here.

  • http://www.cafepress.com/americanoriginals Freedom1958

    I agree that we need a more permanent solution.
    I believe we should remove these illegal aliens from the USA and let their home countries provide for their education. They never should have been our problem in the first place.

  • M2000

    So why does the Left be against executions, but are for illegal immigrants? Makes no sense.

  • kwijino

    How do we members of the UCLA Community voice our opposition?

    I do not hate anyone, so let’s get that canard out of the way.

    Fact is, the school keeps calling us alumni for an addition $10 every few weeks to keep the doors of the library open. The school spends more money than ever, but has none.

    Now, let’s go back to my California History class, the one I took in the Rolfe Auditorium. Do you know how many people of non-indigenous status were even in the area when California became a state? About 1,500 hundred, or so I was told. And they stayed.

    So why are we giving out money to strangers when we have none to give? We owe the people to the south nothing. Otherwise, we owe it to the whole world, and honestly don’t have the resources. But we will give free rides to people who violate our sovereignty because apparently it would be mean to do otherwise.

    So, how do we members of the UCLA Community voice our opposition? How do we find the courage to ask the school to obey the law, and count a crime as a crime instead of something to be rewarded?

  • Maximus300

    Well, why not just increase everyone’s tuition some more to pay for the amount you think is appropriate. Total students in the UC system is about 238,000. Would $100,000,000 be appropriate? That is just $420 more per student per year. You can handle that, right? Everyone is perfectly willing to spend other people’s money. How about being willing to spend your own.

  • malclave

    Just reallocate the money from student activity fees.

  • BoredHousewife

    It is one thing to provide humane health resources to illegal immigrants. Fine. I couldn’t refuse care to anyone in an emergency room. It is quite another thing, however, to provide the privilege of a college education at tax payer expense (and/or by raising tuition) when so many citizens cannot afford one. That simply isn’t reasonable or just.

  • Fred

    It is disturbing to see that all pretense of common sense appears to have been abandoned at what is supposedly a top-notch institution of higher learning. Some inconvenient facts (that are, admittedly, at odds w/ this political correctness festival on display in this editiorial): Illegal immigrants have no business being here. It is unlawful for them to be present inside the boundaries of the nation where UC campuses are located. Further, the UC has had funding repeatedly cut in Sacramento.

    Given these circumstances, why on earth would we prioritize the spending of precious funds on foreign nationals rather than U.S. citizens?