By TONIA HILL
The College Council (CC) at the University of Chicago (U. of C.) approved two resolutions on Tuesday, Jan. 3, the first resolution calls for the creation of a taskforce to support undocumented, “DACAmented,” and international students and the second would make the university a sanctuary campus.
The taskforce would be a student advisory council and would consist 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.
The “Resolution on the Formation of an Undocumented, DACAmented, and International Advisory Council” passed unanimously, and the second “Resolution on the University’s Role in the Preservation of Undocumented Student Rights” passed with a majority vote with four who opposed the resolution.
Veronica Myers, Kosi Achife, and Jahne Brown, first-year students and members of the CC and Moises Rodriguez, a first-year undocumented student created the resolutions.
Rodriguez is undocumented, he approached Myers, Achife, and Brown after the outcome of the election.
“I told them, I’m seeing other friends at other campuses who have written stuff and they’ve helped make their campus declare itself a sanctuary campus and I really [would] like UChicago to do this,” Rodriguez said.
And so they did.
Though, he is undocumented, Rodriguez is protected through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) immigration 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.
Rodriguez is pleased that the CC approved the resolutions.
“I was very moved,” Rodriguez said. “They were representing their students and the vote that they did proved that they were willing to stand by their students and their constituents that they were elected to represent.”
Rodriguez along with Myers, Achife, and Brown will present to an assembly, which is combination of the CC and the Graduate Council on Monday, Jan. 9.
Following the November election, there has been distress 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.
Rodriguez said that passage of the resolutions in the CC is just a start, “I don’t think I’ll ever feel at ease for the next four years. I don’t have optimism in the incoming administration whatsoever. I don’t have faith in the President-elect; I don’t have faith in Congress.”
The work according to Rodriguez is just beginning.
“The student body is not normalizing what is going on,” Rodriguez said. “We are really ready to keep pushing forward to fight back to any form of negative feelings towards any person in any community whether it is the undocumented community, the LGBTQ community or women’s right, etc.”