Trustee Alcantar speaks at local press conference.
CHULA VISTA, CA – Southwestern College has joined a growing list of school districts signing on to support the County of Santa Clara vs Trump motion for injunction against Executive Order 13768, Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States.
The injunction request, which has been joined with The City and County of San Francisco vs Trump injunction request, is challenging the president’s attempt to strip federal funding from local governments and school districts that are deemed “sanctuary jurisdictions” because they shield undocumented immigrants from deportation by federal authorities.
At a news conference at the San Diego Unified School District headquarters Wednesday, trustees from several school districts spoke of their united efforts to protect students to ensure they receive their right to an education free of harassment and fear.
Southwestern College Trustee Roberto Alcantar spoke of the community college’s support of its immigrant students, especially the 300 Dreamers at the college.
“That student population is among our most vulnerable currently,” Alcantar said. “Many Dreamers are moving back into the shadows for fear of this administration.”
At the news conference, Alcantar spoke of the impassioned and tearful stories of students and community members attending the March 14 Southwestern College Governing Board meeting, where the board voted unanimously to sign on in support of The City and County of San Francisco vs Trump injunction request. The Governing Board is expected to ratify signing on to the Santa Clara injunction request at its April meeting.
At the March 14 meeting, the Governing Board was united in expressing their support of immigrants, saying the Executive Order was a threat to the college’s diverse community.
“This is not about politics, but about who we represent,” said Governing Board Member Nora E. Vargas. “We have been leaders on many things, so we should not be fearful of being a target. We are a target.”
At the Governing Board meeting and at the news conference, Alcantar said he was supporting the motion because he took an oath to protect the Constitution when he became a board member.
“We will stand up. We will fight. And we will win,” Alcantar said.
Since November, the Southwestern College Governing Board has passed three resolutions that demonstrate their support for immigrants. Included in the resolutions were commitments to not participate in Muslim registries, not commit campus police as immigration agents and not release student information without their permission.
“Immigrants have contributed so much to this community,” said Governing Board President Tim Nader. “It is surprising to me that someone can rise to president on an anti-immigrant platform.”
U.S. District Judge William Orrick is scheduled to hold a hearing on the motion on April 5.