Spurred by the election of Donald Trump as U.S. president, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom urged the leaders of major public education institutions in California on Thursday to affirm the sanctuary status of their campuses.
Newsom sent letters to University of California President Janet Napolitano, California State University Chancellor Timothy White and California Community Colleges Chancellor Erik Skinner on Thursday morning, urging the leaders to protect undocumented students and their information under a Trump presidency.
“We have both a moral and economic imperative to protect our students — the future workforce and families of California — from Mr. Trump’s stated intentions,” Newsom wrote.
Trump has pledged to deport up to 3 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. But since there is estimated to be fewer than 3 million dangerous felons who entered the country illegally, Newsom said it appears Trump could deport “law-abiding and promising students” to achieve his goal.
Newsom is expected to speak at the UC San Francisco Mission Bay campus Thursday afternoon. However, his news conference was delayed because of an earlier student protest against possible tuition hikes in the UC system.
In the letters, Newsom also asked the leaders to “protect student data from abuse by the federal government,” review campus law enforcement’s practices around cooperating with federal immigration authorities and document their commitment to not sharing students information with the federal government.
Newsom’s announcement comes just a day after Mayor Ed Lee said San Francisco would not release the information of undocumented immigrants collected through the municipal identification card program to the federal government if requested under Trump.