Former Obama DHS Sec. still using university position to push political agenda
- University of California System President and former Obama DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano frequently uses her university position to push her political views on those in the UC community.
- This week, she used university resources to publish a statement denouncing a recent change to immigration policy by the Trump administration.
University of California System President Janet Napolitano took a stand against President Donald Trump’s recently announced expansion to the definition of “public charge” as it relates to immigrants in a systemwide statement to university students, faculty, and staff.
The Monday announcement, posted on the UC System website, was issued in response to a newly announced Trump administration policy that would require recipients of U.S. green cards to abstain from government assistance programs.
“Today’s decision by the Trump administration to expand the definition of 'public charge' sends a detrimental message internationally — that the United States does not want other countries to send their best and brightest here to study and add to the intellectual exchange at our universities, to conduct important research, and to contribute substantially to our economy, among other things,” Napolitano, former President Barack Obama's Homeland Security secretary, said.
Napolitano says her position is rooted in concern for “UC students and other California residents" who, “out of an abundance of caution, may be reluctant to seek available assistance such as preventative health care, housing opportunities, and nutrition education and benefits.”
“The bottom line,” according to Napolitano, is that the decision “penalizes and chills much-needed access to vital benefits." She asserted to the university community that the rule “not only leads to harmful, unintended consequences,” but that it also “raises questions” about the administration’s “true intent” behind what she called an “unnecessary and misguided action.”
"The UC system, full of contempt for law-abiding American citizens, instead favors allowing non-citizens to take advantage of our system....Perhaps the UC system should begin to answer more relevant questions: how does it plan to lower student tuition? What will it do to help local, native citizens obtain a quality education? How does it plan to turn around the elitist trend of its institutions to benefit Californians and American citizens rather than a small subset of anti-American, often noncitizen communists?" Gandall added.
Matthew Tragesser, a spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, offered a different perspective from that of the former Obama DHS secretary, telling Campus Reform, "selecting immigrants who are more likely to be self-sufficient and financially responsible is a win-win situation. Not only will it save taxpayers billions of dollars annually, it will also give immigrants a true opportunity to prosper and succeed in their new country."
“It is clear that there is a major problem on how we select immigrants into the country. Nearly two-thirds of all non-citizen households rely on at least one form of public welfare in comparison to only 35 percent of native-born citizens," Tragesser added.
Napolitano is no stranger to using her position as UC System President to make political statements. In July, she released a statement denouncing the practice of ICE raids, which she said “are designed to strike fear in our immigrant communities,” adding that “the University of California will not be a willing participant in them.”
In March, Napolitano issued a similar statement denouncing Trump’s executive order requiring college campuses to foster free expression as “unnecessary” and “superfluous.”
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