Oberlin College students, faculty petition for sanctuary campus

OBERLIN, OHIO - Students, faculty and alumni at Oberlin College have drafted a petition to make the school a sanctuary campus for undocumented immigrants.

The petition with more than 2,400 names was submitted to campus President Marvin Krislov on Monday.

Since the election of Donald Trump, who has condemned sanctuary cities, dozens of college students have created petitions to become sanctuary schools. But the laws remain unclear.

According to Inside Higher Ed, university issues differ from city issues. 

Sanctuary cities limit cooperation with federal immigration enforcement to shield its potential undocumented citizens from detention. 

Northeast Ohio has three sanctuary cities: Oberlin, Lorain and Painesville. Lake County is also considered a sanctuary area. 

The intent of the petitions submitted for college campuses mirrors that of sanctuary cities: to protect students on campus from immigration enforcement. 

Maria Blanco, executive director of the UCLA Undocumented Legal Services Center, told Inside Higher Ed:

“There are at least three kinds of different things that could fall under a sanctuary policy. One is a university saying that ICE will not come on their campus to do immigration enforcement without warrants unless there’s an exigent circumstance.” A second, she said, is developing a policy that says a university police force will not act on behalf of federal agents to enforce immigration laws. A third, she said, involves information sharing -- “to the extent that universities have any records that identify the immigration status of their students, to protect those if there were a request from ICE for those records.”

Universities could risk their federal funding, Inside Higher Ed says, and some schools have already addressed the issue.

Brown University said, "We understand that private universities and colleges do not have legal protection from entry by members of law enforcement or Immigration and Customs Enforcement" and the University of Wisconsin Madison said the school chancellor isn't authorized to declare the campus a sanctuary, Inside Higher Ed reports.


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