News Release

CFA, Assemblymember Ash Kalra Urge Legislature and Governor to Stand up for California’s Undocumented College Students
Today, Senate Set to Vote on AB 21, a Bill That Would Head off Federal Attacks on Undocumented Students

SACRAMENTO — Today, the California Faculty Association, state Assemblymember Ash Kalra, and CSU students called on the California Legislature to take all measures possible to defend DACA and other undocumented students from attack by voting for Assembly Bill 21.

The bill would ensure that DACA and undocumented students have access to financial aid, legal representation, and their constitutional right to due process, as well as provides safeguards for undocumented faculty and staff.

Assembly Bill 21, which has passed the Assembly and is expected to pass the Senate when it comes to the Senate floor for a vote today, is the latest effort by California to fight the divisive political agenda being pushed by the Trump Administration.

At a Sacramento news conference this morning, Jennifer Eagan, President of the California Faculty Association, said, “The educators of the California Faculty Association have fought to make our public California State University system the most inclusive higher education system in the world. As on so many issues that affect immigrant families, California paved the way for our undocumented students to get full access to public colleges and universities.”

Eagan said, “These gains remain under threat from 45’s administration and some of his red state confederates. We’re not going to let them diminish the supportive community and strong economy that we have built here in California.

She added, “The faculty is seriously fierce and standing right behind our students and colleagues.”

Bill sponsor Assemblymember Ash Kalra said, “As an immigrant myself, it is very painful to see the decision to end the DACA program. On the very first day I was sworn into office I introduced AB 21, which seeks to help protect California’s undocumented students, faculty and staff by mitigating the impacts of potential federal changes to immigration enforcement policies.”

He added, “It is in this country’s best interest as a nation of immigrants to ensure that those who pursue educational and academic growth may further contribute to the productivity of this great state and nation.”

Kalra also relayed good news about further support for undocumented students during the news conference. Today, Gov. Jerry Brown, Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon agreed to provide $30 million in legal assistance for those covered under the DACA program. Two-thirds of the money will fund immigration legal services under a statewide program, while the remaining funding will be reserved for students enrolled in California community colleges and state universities.

Dr. Margarita Berta-Ávila, a Professor of Education at Sacramento State University and president of the CFA Capitol Chapter stated, “There are no words to properly describe what is being felt and experienced by undocu-faculty, staff, and students across campuses at a structural, as well as personal, level.”

She said, “AB 21 is the institutional support we need to ensure all students, faculty, and staff—regardless of immigration status—may continue to pursue education and teaching free from intimidation and risk of loss of access.

And, she added, “History teaches us that movements in the US and across the world are successful when those who have nothing to lose stand up, speak, mobilize, at whatever our capacity is to do so – and refuse to take on the role of bystanders. As members of this society and community, this is the moment to not be that bystander.”

To watch the news conference, visit: https://www.facebook.com/californiafacultyassociation/videos/10155061134232725/

AB 21 BACKGROUND

Assembly Bill 21, authored by Assemblymember Ash Kalra and sponsored by CFA, would help alleviate the impact of potential changes at the federal level to the DACA program, and requires the CSU and state community colleges, as well as requests that the UC system, establish policies and take actions to safeguard against immigration enforcement activities on campuses.

The California State University, University of California, California Community Colleges, and Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities have taken a support position on the bill.

The legislation also has support from the California Immigrant Policy Center, California State Student Association, Southeast Asia Resource Action Center, Service Employees International Union, and more .

The California Faculty Association has maintained unwavering support for undocumented students, colleagues, staff and their families. CFA’s support for those protected under DACA is available here. Click here to read more about CFA’s rejection of the Trump Administration’s policies on immigration.

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ABOUT THE CALIFORNIA FACULTY ASSOCIATION: CFA represents more than 28,000 tenured and tenure-track instructional faculty, lecturers, librarians, counselors and coaches on the 23 campuses of the California State University system, from Humboldt State in the north, to San Diego State in the south. Learn more about CFA at calfac.org

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