Concerned Students, Faculty and Staff:
I want to assure you that I take seriously your concerns about the effects of Proposition 187 at Berkeley. It is the position of the University of California not to take any action until the issue is fully resolved by the courts. This is my position as well. Until the courts decide, it would be remiss of me to venture opinions that may compromise the integrity of the judicial process and that may further divide our community.
As you know, I have spoken publicly about my discomfort with the scapegoating of immigrants. I myself have experienced anti-immigrant hostility and like many other immigrants, I have been made the target of heckling and exclusion. When I wrote for Newsweek magazine that "immigrants are not the cause of America's major problems" I truly meant it. In the same spirit, I wish to say that immigrants are not the cause of the University of California's major problems. The state is in an economic crisis that brings to the surface debate on immigration and affirmative action.
As I recently wrote in a statement to students, I feel a moral obligation to speak up for the visionary goals of affirmative action. As an Asian immigrant, I also feel a moral obligation to speak against all forms of racial intolerance. Where there is discord, we must encourage calm discussion, and where there is division, we must encourage a community of shared values and beliefs. Please be assured that here in the administration we will continue to put a human face to the difficult issues before us.