Gavin Newsom asks that California colleges become sanctuaries

Students from colleges in California met with Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom Thursday in San Francisco to ask for protection should president-elect Donald Trump try to deport them after he takes office.

At the lunchtime meeting on the University of California at San Francisco’s Mission Bay campus, Newsom and the students asked UC, California State University and California community college officials to consider declaring their campuses “Sanctuary Campuses.”

That’s because Trump threatened in a recent interview on CBS’s 60 minutes to deport as many as 3 million U.S. residents, according to a letter Newsom wrote to the UC president and the chancellors of the two other college systems.

That is creating “palpable” anxiety among undocumented California college students, Newsom said.

The students are also concerned about their family members who could be deported because the California college system has information on the students that could be used by federal officials.

“This is serious,” Newsom said. “This is code red.”

Newsom said one student asked him how he is supposed to focus on his studies and one student said it was easier coming out as gay than undocumented because coming out as gay affects only him. Coming out as undocumented could affect his family, Newsom said.

A proposal by Newsom and students asks college officials to affirm campuses as “sanctuary campuses,” look at how to protect student data from federal government abuse, review how campus police and campus officials cooperate with immigration officials and commit to not sharing student information with the federal government.