California college presidents teamed up to ask president-elect Donald Trump to protect immigrant students.
The heads of University of California, Cal State, and California Community Colleges sent a letter asking for Trump to maintain a program, like Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), that will keep the students from being deported.
In the letter, the school leaders said the students are “some of the best our nation has to offer.”
They go on to write that the students should “be able to pursue their dream of higher education without the fear of being arrested, deported or rounded up just for trying to learn.”
The reality of the possibility of a mass deportation has left many students and their peers upset and terrified.
San Diego State University student Kelly Skolaski said she is a United States citizen but is worried for the undocumented students.
“I have several friends here and back home that are undocumented and they’re just like us. They’re not doing anything bad or different,” said Skolaski.
Thousands of young students voluntarily identified themselves as undocumented immigrants to the Obama administration all on a promise that they would not be deported.
Now, on January 20, all of those students' personal information will be available to immigration enforcement agencies.
“It’s unfair because they come here, they just want to have the opportunity to do what we do as citizens,” said Skolaski. “They just want to make their lives better; they deserve a chance.”
Trump’s plans of how to deal with immigration enforcement aren’t clear yet, but after his win and being open about ideas of mass deportation, thousands of students pursuing college degrees are nervous about what the future holds.
Trump has previously called Obama’s effort to help immigrants, “illegal amnesty” and had promised to get rid of undocumented immigrant protection programs, but his most recent ideas were to only deport those with a criminal history.
Students are hoping he sticks to that.