San Jose State student Cesar Juarez is one of thousands of Bay Area immigrant students living in the U.S. legally but facing an uncertain future under the presidency of Donald Trump.
Juarez, who also teaches high school, is an undocumented immigrant who is allowed to stay in the country and go to college under President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
But by Jan. 20, that could change.
California universities and colleges such as San Jose State have vowed to protect undocumented students like Juarez. The California State University chancellor even sent an internal memo to campuses, urging staff to warn DACA students not to travel abroad around inauguration day. It also warned the students that if they're studying abroad, they should come home before Jan. 20.
The memo emphasizes President-elect Trump's intention to eliminate DACA, and the concern is those students would not be able to get back into country if Trump keeps that promise.
"It might be a good idea to be in the country before the inauguration because we’re not sure what’s gonna happen with DACA," said SJSU spokeswoman Pat Lopes Harris.
San Jose State says it has 700 undocumented students enrolled. Those students and their supporters have been holding rallys, vowing to fight a policy change that may lead to deportations.
More than 200 universty presidents across the country have signed a statement supporting the DACA program and urging federal officials to do what they can to keep the program intact.