Students nationwide are asking their colleges to become sanctuary campuses for undocumented students. This means university administrators would have to ignore federal immigration laws by refusing to share information about undocumented students with immigration officials. Several schools have already declared themselves as being sanctuary campuses, including Portland State University, Reed College, and Colombia University.
Students were interviewed at George Washington University by Campus Reform after a pro-sanctuary walk-out several weeks prior. The students questioned said that they were overwhelmingly in favor of their school becoming a sanctuary campus. Students said that it’s a great thing because undocumented students have a right to be attending school. Students also said that it’s very important for students to feel safe in their learning space.
Since the students are suggesting that their administration should ignore federal law, Campus Reform also asked them if they wanted their campus to be a sanctuary from other laws too. “What about a sanctuary campus where student loan laws don’t affect you here?” Campus Reform asked. “Oh, absolutely,” responded one student, while another agreed, saying, “Yes, that’d be cool.” Students were also alright with the school becoming a sanctuary from underage drinking laws. Students would feel safer if they could drink and party without fear of legal consequences.
Some students went far enough to say the school shouldn’t require final exams due to recent stress from the 2016 election. “School’s been really stressful especially after the Trump election,” one student vented. “Like, it’s really hard to focus on your studies when there’s so much else going on.” Campus Reform only found one student who refused to support the idea of ignoring federal laws on campus. “I don’t believe in harboring criminals,” said the student who voted for Donald Trump, “I think, it’s against the law, we have to enforce federal law where it stands.”
Since the questions were posed to the students, it’s not a real indicator of something they are actively pursuing. Undocumented individuals who wish to learn have all the resources in the world available for them to do so. This includes libraries, the internet, and the ability to purchase the exact same textbooks used in college courses. It’s crazy to suggest exemption from a final exam while also requesting the ability to and drink and party freely. The elections were stressful for everyone as are many things in life. Some people prefer to work hard and persevere rather than make excuses.