Some California Schools are reassuring undocumented students that their education will not be affected.
By Aliyah Allen, Staff Writer
A growing number of California school districts are reassuring undocumented students that they will be able to attend school without the interference of federal authorities.
As fear grows over the Donald Trump’s immigration bans, a movement is spreading around the Bay Area and across the country with petitions signed by students, faculty and alumni at colleges and universities to turn the institutions into “Sanctuary Campuses.”
This issue arose from the worry that federal immigration enforcement officials could soon disrupt college campuses to apprehend and deport immigrant students.
The 28 Schools that have declared themselves sanctuary campuses are Reed College, Columbia, Wesleyan, Portland, Oregon, and all 23 California State Universities.
These schools strongly believe in protecting their at-risk students by declaring the campuses to be safe places from federal immigration officials.
California State University Chancellor Timothy White made a public statement on the college system fostering a learning community that is “safe and welcoming” for its students who are in the United States illegally.
As one of the largest public university system in the nation, Cal State’s mission is to provide access to higher education and embrace the diversity of its 470,000 students.
Chancellor White said during a Board of Trustees meeting in Long Beach,” Unless forced to by law, Cal State will not enter into agreements with state or local law enforcement agencies, Homeland Security or any other federal department for the enforcement of federal immigration law.”
School board members in several districts, including Los Angeles Unified and Pittsburgh, have designated their districts as “,’’ to protect their students.
Vice President of Academic Affairs Karen Daar released a statement regarding Valley College views on the issue: “ Valley College does stand strong with the CSUs in our shared perspective on supporting student rights and doing everything in our power to assist all of our students in being successful and completing their educational goals. Our college is open to any students who meet minimum requirements for admission, regardless of immigration status. We will continue to assist students in filing for financial aid and providing services without any inquiry regarding immigration status.”
This effort started with administration of President Barack Obama, whose strong attempts have held resistance to stop deportation. Trump has threatened to cancel federal funding for sanctuary cities, such as San Francisco, who have strongly declined cooperation with federal immigration authorities.
In Los Angeles, the school board president is concerned that the movement could lead to cuts in federal aid.
Many schools who rely on government funding may lose support in the future if they continue to protect illegal students in the United States.