Smile Politely

Petitioners seek sanctuary for undocumented people

In a petition much more eloquent than anything I can write, several professors at the University of Illinois have requested that the campus be recognized as a sanctuary for undocumented members of the community. 

Citing the president-elect’s documented intention to deport millions of immigrants upon taking office, as well as the immediate and extreme backlash that minorities have suffered since the election results were announced, the petition recognizes that these outcomes can only have a negative result in our community. 

From the petition: 

In light of this vitriolic social environment and the coming policy changes, we ask the UIUC administration provide the assistance under its purview. We make the following specific requests:

+ Guarantee student privacy by refusing to release information regarding the immigration status of our students and community members. Refuse to comply with immigration authorities regarding deportations or raids.

+ Assign a specific office and specific administrators who will assist our DACA students and other students who lack the privilege of citizenship on a strictly confidential basis.

+ Guarantee that this same office shall be charged with pursuing funding for all students who lack citizenship.

+ Guarantee in-state tuition to students previously awarded DACA recipients.

+ Assure that all students receive a campus, classroom, and community experience free of hostilities, aggressions, and bullying by publicizing the campus-wide anonymous reporting mechanism, training all staff and faculty in de-escalation intervention techniques, and expanding the Safe Rides and Safe Walks program (training all assistants in bias events). 

Given the urgency of the situation, we ask that UIUC take these steps immediately, this semester, before the president-elect is sworn into office.

So, go add your name to the list — it’s already over 1500 names long — and help do something real to make our community welcome to the people who are already here. 

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