News Release

RSCCD Pledges Support of Students Regardless of Immigration Status, National Origin, Religion

(Santa Ana, CA)—At a regularly scheduled Board of Trustees meeting on March 13, Rancho Santiago Community College District (RSCCD) joined an increasing number of colleges and universities across the U.S. when its Board of Trustees approved a resolution reaffirming support of all students.

The resolution, passed unanimously, urges President Donald Trump to continue the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which grants “Dreamers” – people who were brought to this country as children by their parents – the ability to continue their education without fear of deportation. According to RSCCD’s resolution, “California and the United States are stronger due to their contributions to our economy, to our communities and to our Armed Forces.” Former President Barack Obama launched the policy in 2012.

“The RSCCD Board resolution reaffirms the district’s values of inclusion, diversity, and equity that ensure that the district will continue to serve all students regardless of their race, ethnicity, heritage, religion, national origin, immigration status, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, medical condition or disability,” said RSCCD Chancellor Raúl Rodríguez, Ph.D.

The resolution reaffirms the district’s commitment to providing all people the opportunity to reach their academic potential in a climate of respect and inclusion and in an educational environment that protects students from pressures and intrusive actions that would disrupt their pursuit of higher education. In addition, the resolution reasserts the district’s commitment to following the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the California Education Code that govern the privacy of student records. The resolution also states that “...absent legal authority, the district will not:

    • Allow federal immigration officials on campus;
    • Act on behalf of federal agencies to enforce immigration laws or aid in deportation; and
    • Share student records containing immigration status with immigration officials.

“It is important that we tell our students that we support them,” said RSCCD Board President John Hanna. “We want to reassure all of our students that our campuses and educational centers will remain safe and welcoming places for students of all backgrounds and national origins regardless of their immigration status. They are each valued members of our diverse student population. This diversity is what makes our college district and our colleges special and we will continue to protect it.”

In December, the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office issued a statement of values and commitment to undocumented students. In late November, the University of California system vowed to protect the privacy and civil rights of undocumented students and to continue to welcome and support students, regardless of their immigration status. Earlier, the California State University system said they would continue to protect educational access for all students, including DACA students.

To read the full text of the Rancho Santiago Community College District Board of Trustees Resolution No. 17-06, please follow this link.

About the Rancho Santiago Community College District
Santa Ana College and Santiago Canyon College are public community colleges of the Rancho Santiago Community College District, which serves the residents of Anaheim Hills, Orange, Santa Ana, Villa Park, and portions of Anaheim, Costa Mesa, Irvine, Fountain Valley, Garden Grove, and Tustin. Both colleges provide education for academic transfer and careers, courses for personal and professional development, and customized training for business and industry.

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Contact: Judy Iannaccone

Phone: (714) 480-7503