University of California To Name 20,000 Central American Migrants Adjunct Professors Of Latino Studies
UC President Janet Napolitano Announces Plan To Provide Housing For Migrant Children By Naming Them Adjunct Professors Of Latino Studies
Published July 11, 2014
By RAMESH RHAMJAMI
The Obama Administration will be receiving much-needed help in housing the influx of child refugees from Central America. The help will come from a familiar source: former Secretary of U.S. Homeland Security Janet Napolitano.
On Friday, Napolitano – who is now the president of the University of California system – announced that the University of California will begin housing approximately 20,000 child refugees and their parents in student dormitories and trailers at the UC-Berkeley and UC-Santa Cruz campuses. Students displaced by the migrants will be expected to find their own housing in the local community.
“The UC system is particularly well-equipped to help these young dreamers,” said Napolitano in a statement on her official website. According to Napolitano, the UC system has over 500 retired trailers previously used as shelter for construction workers. These trailers will be stationed on UC-owned athletic fields at the UC-Berkeley and UC-Santa Cruz campuses. Each trailer will be outfitted to house 30 children and 10 adults.
The UC plan may not be without its complications. Due to a state law prohibiting the University from providing housing to non-students and non-faculty, Napolitano must engage in some resourceful policy-making. The youngest of the refugees could not qualify as students since state law requires that students be at least 16-years-old and have a high school diploma or its equivalent.
Although Homeland Security has not released any details, the White House issued a statement confirming that the UC system will be housing many of the migrants: “From John Muir to Edward Teller, the immigrant dreamer always has sought out California as her or his home. The Golden State has reached out again for America’s newest dreamers.”
Some of these children had to grip to the tops of trains they rode as they careened through the mountains of the Sierra Madre.
Therefore, Napolitano will take advantage of a clever loophole. State law sets no age limits or qualification requirements for adjunct professors. According to a Napolitano deputy, she will request that the department head of the UC system’s Chicano/Latino Studies Program appoint each of the refugees as “adjunct professors” for the 2014-15 school year.
The Chicano/Latino Studies Program’s department head, Ricardo Zacatecas-Millán, already has expressed his enthusiasm for the plan on the department’s website. “Each of these refugees, from the youngest to the oldest, braved the perilous journey from their violent homelands to the American Southwest. Some of these children had to grip to the tops of trains they rode as they careened through the mountains of the Sierra Madre. Their fingers bled they grasped the metal surface with all their might. These brave Chicano soldiers are more qualified than even myself to teach about the Latino experience. I look forward to their arrival on campus this fall.”
Santa Marino College Chicano and Lesbian Studies chairwoman Gina Hurtado Casillas said that Napolitano and Millán deserve praise for the plan. “[Millán] is doing what few academics achieve by reaching out and creating the history that he teaches his students,” she said. “It is a proud day for him and for Chicano studies.”