Undocumented Students, Allies at 100+ Other Schools And Universities Took Escalated Action Demanding #SanctuaryCampus for Immigrants Under Trump; Largest Coordinated Walkout In Recent History
Students in Red and Blue States Stated Walkouts, Sit-Ins, and Other Actions, Demanding That Campuses Declare Sanctuary to Immigrants at Risk of Deportation
NATIONAL- Inspired by student walkouts at high schools from coast to coast, and expecting that the Trump administration will deliver on his promise to deport millions of immigrants, undocumented students and allies at 100+ universities and high schools nationwide launched #SanctuaryCampus protests demanding universities provide sanctuary to immigrants. With support from community members, professors and allies, they staged walkouts, sit-ins and other actions at campuses in red and blue states -- including Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Minnesota Florida, New Jersey, and more -- and launched calls for campuses, churches, and other social institutions to declare sanctuary as well.
“I have no illusions about the danger a Trump administration presents immigrants, and I’m walking out with my classmates because our universities have a moral responsibility to ensure all students and campus workers are shielded from the threat of deportation,” said Miriam Zamudio an undocumented student at Rutgers New Brunswick. “Even though Trump threatens to tear our communities apart, I know that by standing together we can form a circle of safety and protection for immigrants in our country. With #SanctuaryCampus we’re demanding universities pick which side they’re on. Do they want to protect our classmates and our communities, or let Trump normalize deportations and hate crimes?”
Donald Trump has promised to deport 2-3 million immigrants in his first 100 days in office and will have the executive power as President to do so. He will also have the ability to revoke Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), a policy won by the Dreamer movement in 2012 that provides close to 800,000 young people with temporary protection from deportation and work permits. President Obama, who has deported more immigrants than any president in history, is urging Trump to “think long and hard” before endangering immigrants currently protected under DACA. Trump’s short list for head of the Department of Homeland Security, the federal agency with near total discretion on immigration enforcement, include the notoriously anti-immigrant Sheriff Joe Arpaio, and Kris Kobach, the author of SB1070.
“Immigrant youth who had a dream fought for and won DACA against all odds, and our communities won’t be intimidated by Trump even as he threatens to take it away,” said Thais Marquez, an undocumented student and organizer with Movimiento Cosecha. “We’re calling on our classmates and our neighbors to stand for what’s right and grow a network of support for immigrants on our campuses and beyond. Millions of immigrants do crucial work that makes the American economy run, and we need the support of our country’s churches, community centers and homes as places of sanctuary against deportation too.”
Students took action at a wide range of campuses, including large state universities and community colleges such as Indiana University at Bloomington, Iowa State University, the University of Pittsburgh, and more. At Rutgers University-New Brunswick in New Jersey, student took over a highway with calls for sanctuary campuses. And in the farmworker town of Homestead, Florida, students from multiple high schools participated in a walkout and march to their city hall.The students’ protests reference the Sanctuary Movement of the 1980s, where congregations, universities, and other institutions provided immigrants sanctuary. Since then, sanctuary spaces have been essential to providing immigrants protection against deportation raids.
Students and organizers at Movimiento Cosecha are coordinating with Church World Service and clergy that participated in the new sanctuary movement in the 1980s and again in 2014. The #SanctauryCampus campaign is calling for the country to recognize that it relies on immigrant labor and that all Americans have the ability to draw a line in the sand and stand up against scapegoating and dangerous policies in our universities, our churches, our community centers, and everywhere else in America.
The #SanctuaryCampus protests are supported by Movimiento Cosecha (Harvest Movement), a movement fighting for permanent protection, dignity and respect for the immigrant community. During the presidential election, Cosecha had #BuiltbyUs actions that called out the hypocrisy of Trump’s stance on immigration given his businesses’ reliance on undocumented immigrant labor. A recent report found that mass deportation as originally proposed by Trump would cost the U.S. $4.7 trillion in GDP.