By TONIA HILL
Members from the University of Chicago’s (U. of C.) College Council (CC) are considering a resolution that would ask university officials to make the U. of C. a sanctuary campus for undocumented students.
Veronica Myers, Kosi Achife, and Jahne Brown, first-year students and members of the CC and Moises Rodriguez, a first-year undocumented student, wrote the resolution and it calls on the administration to prohibit enforcement officials from entering the campus without a warrant.
Additionally, the resolution also recommends that the university and its police department, “publicly vow not to take an active role or voluntarily participate in the deportation or forced removals of its students by the United States Immigrations and Customs Enforcement.”
Following the November election last month, there has been grave concern amongst immigrant communities about the possibility of being deported. After securing the presidency, President-elect Donald Trump in an interview with 60 Minutes, said that he wants to deport millions of undocumented immigrants specifically those with criminal records or gang ties.
The university has since then expressed interest in protecting undocumented students. On Tuesday, Nov. 29, U. of C. President Robert J. Zimmer joined 400 other college and university presidents from public and private institutions nationwide in signing a letter in support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) immigration policy.
Some undocumented students are protected through the DACA policy. Under this plan, created in 2012, undocumented people who entered the country before their 16th birthday and before June 2007 can receive a renewable two-year work permit and are exempt from deportation.
On Friday, Nov. 18, U. of C. Provost Daniel Diermeier also addressed those same concerns in a written letter to the university community.
“We firmly believe that every member of our community is entitled to participate in scholarly, professional and personal pursuits at the university,” Diermeier said. “We recognize that individuals who are not United States citizens face distinctive challenges, and the university is committed to supporting them in numerous ways.”
The resolution also seeks to create an advisory council compromised of two undocumented students, two “DACAmented” students, two international students, and six appointed administrators and faculty (with at least one with expertise in immigration). Their sole concern will be to protect the rights and needs of undocumented, “DACAmented,” and International students.
CC members will meet to vote on the resolution at its first winter quarter meeting, Tuesday, Jan. 3.