Posted on February 2, 2024

University of California Hits Pause on Plan to Hire Undocumented Students

Blake Jones, Politico, January 25, 2024

University of California leaders backed away Thursday from a plan to allow people without legal immigration status to hold campus jobs after scrutinizing the legal ramifications of an effort that drew objections from the Biden administration.

The governing UC Regents emerged from a closed-door meeting and voted to put the plan on hold for at least a year.

“We concluded that the proposed legal pathway is not viable at this time, and in fact carries significant risks for the institution and for those we serve,” UC President Michael V. Drake said. “For that reason, it is inadvisable for the university to initiate implementation right now.”

The decision leaves around 4,000 undocumented students across the ten-campus system unable to hold campus jobs, including paid fellowships and residencies that some need to graduate or pursue advanced studies.

Drake said the university would look for other ways to support the students, including increased “experiential learning” opportunities.


The president, some regents, and other officials became increasingly skeptical in recent months that the university could hire the students without facing a lawsuit. Outside legal opinions and private calls from the Department of Homeland Security to the university raised further doubts, UC officials told POLITICO.