Immigration issue tackled at CSUB


Jonathan Wells

Multimedia Editor

With the recent election of Donald Trump and the remembrance of his campaign promising mass deportations and the building of a wall, many undocumented students throughout the CSU system fear the reality of deportation, either for themselves or their friends and family.

In an attempt to massage student concerns, the CSU system has issued a statement reassuring undocumented students that CSU won’t enter into an agreement with local or state law enforcement in regards to deporting undocumented students.

CSU Bakersfield has also made an effort to put student concern at ease by hosting discussions on campus to bridge communication between administration and students who feel uneasy following the November election.

In a recent Brown Bag Discussion, CSUB President Horace Mitchell addressed immigration and what that could mean under president-elect Trump.

In the discussion, one student asked about deportation and the potentiality of CSUB being a sanctuary campus to its undocumented students.

“We have to stay in line with state laws and policies, and so, none of the CSU campuses will declare themselves as quote sanctuary campuses… which often means a person is protected in that community no matter what,” said President Mitchell.

The state laws and policies that President Mitchell are referring to are covered in an open letter recently released by the Chancellor’s Office.

“Our university police departments will not honor immigration hold requests; our university police do not contact, detain, question or arrest individuals solely on the basis of being – or suspected of being – a person that lacks documentation,” wrote CSU Chancellor, Timothy White.

“We are also partnering with elected officials at the state and national level to inform and work to prevent negative developments regarding immigration for our undocumented students, including those with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals status.”

Although some feel CSUB is moving in the right direction, other students felt that there wasn’t enough being done to protect its undocumented students.

“I don’t feel like CSUB is doing enough,” said political science major Randy Villegas, a student who participated in the protest of Trump’s election in front of the Student Union Nov. 14. “I think CSUB can do a better job; we’ve seen other campuses across California and across the U.S. that have even created centers for their immigrant students and I believe that’s something we should see here at CSUB.”

One day prior to the Brown Bag Discussion at CSUB, Bakersfield College President Sonya Christian held a press conference at BC’s Delano campus where she spoke of implementing plans to provide expert legal advice to students about immigration matters starting in December. She also pledged her support for BC’s undocumented students saying,“Let me make this very clear, Bakersfield College stands with you.”

“We need to see that same support here at CSUB for all of our dreamers,” said Villegas.

DACA students studying in America aren’t the only ones affected by Trumps presidency. DACA students currently studying abroad are being warned to consider returning to the U.S. as DACA is expected to be eliminated following Trump’s inauguration.

“The chancellor is warning that that’s a possibility that the president-elect might not continue that funding so students who are overseas at this time…should probably get back home,” said ASI President, Alex Dominguez in the Oct. 19 board of directors meeting.