News & Politics

Berkeley Student Detained by ICE Should Never Have Been Enrolled

(Photo by Albin Lohr-Jones)

When ICE officers arrested and detained UC Berkeley student Luis Mora recently, it sparked massive outrage. Granted, this is Berkeley. Everything sparks massive outrage there.

News of Mora’s arrest broke when his girlfriend, Jaleen Udarbe, used Mora’s Facebook page to issue a call to action. However, ICE officials have stated — as reported by Campus Reform — that Mora lacked the necessary visas to even be allowed to register at Berkeley.

Berkeley officials argued that they never received “any requests from ICE to cancel a student’s registration.” ICE doesn’t disagree. As Campus Reform notes: “Spokespersons for ICE assured Campus Reform that the agency has no records indicating that it contacted Berkeley with a request to dis-enroll Mora, but explained that in the eyes of the federal government, Luis Mora was never legally enrolled as a student at any institution of higher learning in the United States.”

To be legally enrolled in a college, a student who isn’t an American citizen must either have registered under the DACA program or have a valid visa. Mora doesn’t fall under DACA — a fact his lawyer noted previously. The only visa Mora had was a temporary visa from 2009.

He long overstayed that document, making him ineligible to enroll at Berkeley.

Some universities simply don’t care if a student is in the country legally or not. Berkeley appears to be one of those schools, which isn’t surprising.

However, the school’s determination doesn’t make it immune from federal immigration law. Illegal immigrants who enroll in such schools are likely to be deported if discovered. Their status as students at these rogue universities are irrelevant.

This illustrates the stupidity of these schools doing such things. As state institutions, their decision to ignore federal law gives students a false sense of security. They may actually believe they’re safe from deportation because it’s a government school.

Liberal colleges don’t get to ignore immigration law with impunity. They tend not to mention that to illegal students when they enroll, however.

For all the liberal spin attempts to paint Mora’s case a tragedy, their decision to target ire at ICE is misplaced. They should be lashing out at Berkeley for giving Mora the impression that he was a legally enrolled student.