Institutions Of Academia The New Safe Spaces For Immigrants?

Trump announced his run for presidency with hate speech aimed at Mexican immigrants, with promises of mass deportation and the building of a wall. Now that he is elected president, he made clear that he does intend to keep his promise by deporting 2-3 million undocumented citizens.

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His spew of xenophobia and division is cause for a petition being signed that suggests that colleges and universities be a place of sanctuary for the undocumented. According to Huffington Post’s Professor Elliott Young, “this is personal, we do not intend to sit by as our students and staff are rounded up by ICE officers on our campus and deported.”

This idea of this kind of refuge or haven for those trying to escape unjust laws, as pointed out by Young, is rooted in a longtime Judeo-Christian principle that utilized churches and synagogues as safe spaces.

Trump continues to promise to deport a mass of undocumented citizens, to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy, and to build the wall that is a clear representation of hate and divide in America. Trump’s constituents promote the idea of detention centers and knocking on the doors of these undocumented citizens using the information that has been provided to DACA. Laws like the SB 1070 is a racist policy that has been put in place to justify racial profiling, by demanding any “suspicious undocumented citizens” to provide identity.

Apart from Trump’s hateful promises, 33 U.S. cities have been declared as official Sanctuary Cities for immigrants. This prohibits city officials and law enforcement from demanding the statuses of undocumented people. According to Young, sheriffs throughout the country have stopped cooperating with ICE officials, because they consider the behavior to be inhumane and unjust.

VIEW: Mexican Photog Debunks Anti-Immigrant Rhetoric With “Pedro” Photo Series

Young’s recommendations are for colleges and universities to play their role as sanctuaries for immigrants. While it’s legal to deport undocumented folks, these actions are considered to be inhumane by many. Young also claims that it is a civic duty of colleges and universities to protect its citizens by stating “colleges and universities need to stand up for humanity and protect the undocumented from the cruel and inhumane policies of our next president.”