Sunday, December 04, 2016

4.1 - Update: support for sanctuary campuses

Update: support for sanctuary campuses

Updated I'll start off the week with some good news in the form of an Update. Although I suppose I should temper that and change "good news" to "encouraging news."

I mentioned last show about a move by students at colleges and universities around the country to pressure their respective school administrations to declare them sanctuary campuses, schools that will limit cooperation with federal immigration authorities.

The Update here is that those students are gaining some significant allies in higher education.

For one thing, on November 22 the American Association of University Professors expressed its support for the movement for sanctuary campuses.

For another, as of November 29, just under 400 college and university presidents from public and private institutions across the US have signed a statement in support of continuing the policy called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. That policy allows certain undocumented immigrants who entered the country as minors to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation.

Unfortunately, DACA establishes neither lawful status nor a path to citizenship for those covered, but at least it does provide some protection against deportation as long as it remains in effect.

A 2011 memo from the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement - with the appropriate acronym ICE - appears to establish that as a general rule, ICE agents can't set foot on campus - or other specified "sensitive locations" - to investigate or initiate deportation unless there is either prior consent by the facility or express permission given by one of four high officials in the agency.

The effect of this is that while colleges and universities can't actually prevent ICE from coming on campus to grab someone for deportation, the schools can hinder the effort by refusing to cooperate in any way not required by law or court order. How effective that act of hindering would be would obviously depend on circumstances, but a school could go a long way toward protecting the security of their students.

One other quick point on this is that there were some schools that were not targets of the protests because they didn't need to declare themselves sanctuary campuses because they at least in some way already had.

Updated to note that as of December 3, the number of signatories was up to 475.

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