UC Irvine law student Cinthia Flores was the only member of the UC Board of Regents to vote against Janet Napolitano's confirmation as president of the 10-campus system for the same reason six students were arrested at the board meeting Thursday: they fear how the outgoing Homeland Security director will treat undocumented students.
Flores, the UC Regents' student representative, was particularly troubled by Napolitano having embraced the controversial Secure Communities program.
“She must remember that involvement with Secure Communities will cast a long shadow,” Flores says in an ABC News/Univision report. “I will not deny the pain and experiences of countless students and their families. I know that their fear is real.”
Secure Communities, which was designed to allow local jails to send the FBI and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) information about the most violent undocumented crime suspects in custody has not worked that way in practice, resulting in some folks with no criminal background being ripped away from their families.
For Napolitano's part, she was asked by reporters after Thursday's meeting how she would respond to demonstrators like those who interrupted the gathering.
“I'd say to those students–documented or undocumented–that we welcome all students,” she reportedly responded. “We're in the business of education.”