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Ivy League Schools Push for “Sanctuary” Status from Potential Trump Deportations

Students, alumni, and faculty from some of the country’s most prestigious schools, which include Harvard, Yale, Brown, and Columbia, are calling on their respective university officials to convert their campuses into “sanctuaries” for individuals seeking immigration protection.  After Donald Trump’s shocking win in the presidential elections, community members across several Ivy League universities are rallying support to protect undocumented immigrants from aggressive deportation raids.

Brown University Community Issues Letters

A faculty letter circulating in Brown reads, “We have reason to believe that Providence Police officers cannot enter the campus without permission of the University.”

 “Given that many students, staff members and their families are directly affected by this issue, we urge the University to immediately work to develop a protocol for the University serving as a sanctuary campus.”

The letter was later published online in the school’s student newspaper and signed by 168 faculty members. Brown alumni have also released a similar letter, outright mentioning Trump and amassing more than 2,400 signatures.

The letter reads, “Trump’s presidency puts the undocumented members of our community at unprecedented risk. The threat to students and workers requires a concrete and tangible response from the University; words and symbolic gestures would not suffice.”

Harvard, Yale and other Ivy League Schools Take Action

Harvard’s students, faculty, and alumni likewise addressed their own letter to the school’s administration, highlighting their concerns over the consequences of a Trump administration for undocumented students currently enrolled at Harvard. The letter called on school officials to protect undocumented students enrolled in undergraduate and graduate programs.

The letter also came with a list of demands, which include hiring a dean and assistant dean for diversity and inclusion, establishing a resource center and budget for undocumented students, and creating a mental health support program for students facing deportation and immigration problems among others.

Yale issued a similar letter signed by hundreds of Yale students and alumni, containing almost the same set of warnings and concerns. Likewise, schools outside the Ivy League like Oberlin and Stanford released their own letters to their respective school officials.

The requests for “sanctuary” status build on existing warnings against arresting undocumented immigrants in schools.  In 2011, United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) issued a memo that discouraged enforcement officials from conducting immigration arrests and searches in “sensitive locations,” such as churches and schools.

These reactions come in the wake of President-elect Trump’s first television interview on 60 Minutes, in which he promised to secure the U.S. border and remove undocumented immigrants with criminal records en masse, a move that could displace more than 2 to 3 million people. He added that he would “make a determination” about immigration violators with no criminal record.

If you or a loved one is concerned about the potential changes to U.S. immigration policy under a Trump presidency, don’t hesitate to call the legal team of the Lyttle Law Firm to discuss your options. Find out how we can help you by calling our offices today at (512) 215.5225.

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