On March 2nd, a group of UC Berkeley faculty and staff signed a collective letter to the Vice Chancellor of Research expressing concern about his invitation to campus programs to apply for funding to establish UC Berkeley as the lead institution for the Center for Borders, Trade and Immigration Research (CBTIR). The call for proposals is from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the proposed research center would focus on immigration enforcement (deportations and detentions), among other issues. The letter of concern is below.

Professor Fleming,

As faculty and staff members who work closely with undocumented students at Cal, we are writing to express our concern about the call for applications to establish a DHS Center for Borders, Trade and Immigration Research (CBTIR) that you circulated to faculty on April 29th.

If we understand the call correctly, if a CBTIR were to be established at Cal it would involve a continued and significant DHS presence on campus. As you can imagine, having DHS involved in campus activities, given the Obama administration’s historic levels of deportation, can only be detrimental to our undocumented students’ feelings of safety on campus. A DHS presence would also have negative consequences for Cal students that come from mixed status families.

Because of this potential harm to an important part of the Cal community, we urge you not to support any CBTIR application from Cal. To do so would send the wrong message about our university’s values and our commitment to an inclusive and supportive community for everyone.

Sincerely,
Alisa Bierria
Associate Director, Center for Race Gender

Ruben E. Canedo
Research Mobilization Coordinator, Centers for Educational Equity Excellence (Ce3)

Raúl Coronado
Associate Professor, Ethnic Studies

Laura Enriquez
Professor, Department of Sociology

Rita d’Escoto, MBA
Funds Manager, Financial Aid Scholarships Office

Lupe Gallegos Diaz
Director, Chicano/Latino Student Development

Lisa García Bedolla
Professor, Education and Political Science
Chair, Center for Latino Policy Research

Evelyn Nakano Glenn
Professor, Ethnic Studies and Gender and Women’s Studies
Director, Center for Race and Gender

Cruz Grimaldo
Associate Director, Financial Aid Scholarships Office

Julian Ledesma
Interim Director, Educational Opportunity Program

Alberto Ledesma, PhD
Writing Program Coordinator, Student Learning Center

Colleen Lye
Associate Professor, English

Fabrizio Mejia
Executive Director, Centers for Educational Equity and Excellence (Ce3)

David Montejano
Professor, Ethnic Studies

Rachel Morello-Frosch, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Professor, Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management School of Public Health

Layla Naranjo
Director, Incentive Awards Program

Michael Omi
Associate Professor, Ethnic Studies
Associate Director, Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society

Kurt Organista
Professor, Social Welfare

Genaro Padilla
Professor, English

Juana María Rodríguez
Professor, Gender and Women’s Studies

Leslie Salzinger
Associate Professor, Gender and Women’s Studies

Alex Saragoza
Associate Professor, Ethnic Studies

Susan Schweik
Associate Dean of Arts and Humanities

Meng L. So
Director, Undocumented Student Program

Jere Takahashi
Lecturer, Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies