Despite a federal law prohibiting the practice, the University of California (UC) system is trying to hire undocumented students for student jobs.
In a statement on Thursday (May 18), UC President Michael Drake and Board President Richard Leib revealed that the university’s board has created a task force to discuss relevant issues to ensure employment opportunities for all students regardless of immigration status.
By November, the group will have developed an implementation plan and legal strategy regarding whether, how and when to take further steps.
The statement shared the university’s commitment “to ensuring that all students, regardless of their immigration status,” are able to pursue and achieve a world-class university education.
They added that part of that commitment meant “providing enriching student employment opportunities” for all students.
But these plans could be against the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 which establishes civil and criminal penalties for employers who knowingly employ illegal immigrants and persons who are not authorized to work in the United States.
But the Los Angeles Times reports that UCLA legal scholars have a theory that the law is not applicable to states and state entities like UC.
Regent John Perez told The LA Times that UC needs time to figure out how to implement its plan, asserting the plan “is too important to get it wrong.”
But the university could face a lawsuit over its plan and has been assessing the potential public backlash it would face, as well as the legal risk for faculty and student staff.