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'The system is broken': California, immigration and President Trump's policies

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From l-r:  Take Two's A Martinez, plus panelists  Xiadani, Edina Lekovic, Niels Frenzen, Chief Jarrod Burguan, Steve Wuhs and Take Two reporter, Dorian Merina
Quincy Surasmith
From l-r: Take Two's A Martinez, plus panelists Xiadani, Edina Lekovic, Niels Frenzen, Chief Jarrod Burguan, Steve Wuhs and Take Two reporter, Dorian Merina

With fast-moving news around U.S. immigration policy, Take Two's A Martinez sat down with a panel of guests to discuss what all of this means for California.

Immigration has dominated the news headlines since Inauguration Day. 

First there was President Trump's executive order "protecting the nation from foreign terrorist entry in to the United States."

Then came the protests at airports nationwide as travelers from the countries banned under the executive action arrived in the U.S.

Following on from that, the legal fight to suspend the travel ban, which found its way to the 9th circuit appeals court.

There's more. Against this backdrop, the detention of 600 people across the United States -- 160 in Southern California --  following a series of raids by U.S. Immigration Control and Enforcement (ICE)  last week. 

President Trump responded to the immigration sweeps on Twitter :

What does all of this mean for a state with the nation's largest number of immigrants, both with and without legal documentation?

Take Two's A Martinez and Dorian Merina discussed California's place in the immigration debate at the University of Redlands.


"Xiadani" -  Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)  recipient and student at the University of Redlands

Edina Lekovic - public affairs consultant, Muslim Public Affairs Council

Niels Frenzen- clinical professor of law and director of the Immigration Clinic at USC's Gould School of Law

-  San Bernardino Police Department 

Steve Wuhs- assistant provost for internationalization at University of Redlands

Watch the full conversation below.

Event highlights

Niels Frenzen 

"California, like any other state, can not have laws that directly impact the admission or the deportation of non citizens ... but we have various laws that protect or provide financial aid to undocumented students or DACAmented students who are going to the Cal State or the community colleges or the UCs.  So there is an extensive body of law at the state level in California that is more welcoming than alot of other states"

Chief Jarrod Burguan

"Our policy says we will not stop anybody for the sole purpose of determining their immigration status.  We do have a caveat in our policy, that allows, if an officer has somebody detained for a legitimate reason ... and there is a question as to  whether that person is in violation of federal law, you can hold the person just long enough to contact immigration officials and see if they want that person.  That's contained in the policy. I can't tell you the last time that's ever actually happened."


"At four-years-old I didn't ask my parents to bring me here, and I think it's important to note that I've been trying in all of the smalls ways that I can to remedy that. I've had an application in to become a citizen since before I got here. I now have DACA ... I have employment authorization. I go to school here with that DACA and I also have an application for political asylum, because as a queer person, it's not safe to be in Mexico and be out in the ways that I feel like I need to be in order to be myself."

Steve Wuhs

"The polarized political environment we're in is challenging in the classroom, because there are boundary lines  that one runs in to while teaching that are difficult to navigate.  Part of being at a liberal arts institution is questioning those fundamental assumptions with which you've been raised, but this environment is one that's not always conducive to that. "

Edina Lekovic

"The system is broken, that's the fact that we start from, and all of the different aspects of it are broken. For refugee applicants, we have to remember they're fleeing from war and conflict and a lack of basic stability in their lives ...To go from uncertainly and instability into uncertainty and instability in the United States is a sad state to be in."

To listen to edited highlights of the conversation, click on the blue media player above.

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