University of Calif. promises to protect undocumented students
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The University of California says it plans to protect its undocumented students ahead of President-elect Donald TrumpDonald John Trump2020 Democrats spar over socialism ahead of first debate Senate passes .5 billion border bill, setting up fight with House 'Teflon Don' avoids the scorn of the 'family values' GOP — again MORE's incoming administration. 

The public university, which is comprised of 10 campuses across the state, announced Wednesday that it would "vigorously protect" its undocumented students and refuse to aid federal immigration agents should they ask for confidential student information.

"While we still do not know what policies and practices the incoming federal administration may adopt, given the many public pronouncements made during the presidential campaign and its aftermath, we felt it necessary to reaffirm that UC will act upon its deeply held conviction that all members of our community have the right to work, study, and live safely and without fear at all UC locations,” University of California President Janet Napolitano said in a statement.

According to the announcement, the university would refuse to assist federal immigration agents, turn over confidential records without court orders or supply information for any national registry based on race, national origin or religion.

The university issued a "Statement of Principles in Support of Undocumented Members of the UC Community." The system enrolls more than 250,000 students, more than 80 percent of which are California residents. 

Napolitano, who served as secretary of Homeland Security under President Obama from 2009 to 2013, also defended the Dream Act in a New York Times op-ed Wednesday.

Dreamers, she said, have "developed deep roots in the country and have become valuable contributors to their community. They must be in high school or have a diploma, or be a veteran, and they cannot have been convicted of a felony or major misdemeanor."

"Today, there are nearly three-quarters of a million Dreamers who no longer have to constantly fear an encounter with an immigration enforcement agent. Instead, they can live, study and work freely," she added. "Many are now studying at the system I lead, the University of California."

The moves come less than two months before Trump enters office. The president-elect made building a wall along the United States' border with Mexico a central part of his campaign, which took a tougher tone on illegal immigration. 

At a September rally in Arizona, Trump said he would remove those in the U.S. illegally on "day one."

"We will begin moving them out day one. As soon as I take office. Day one. In joint operation with local, state and federal law enforcement," Trump said. 

The University of California joins Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania in promising to shield undocumented immigrants from federal deportation. Los Angeles, Chicago and New York City have said they would be sanctuary cities for illegal residents.