Hope in the Sanctuary Movement

Universities and cities across the country are amping up their support for DACAmented students, as well as undocumented peoples in the Sanctuary Movement. They are creating or bolstering their commitment to Sanctuary Campuses and Sanctuary cities! While Trump has declared to end the creation of Sanctuary Cities through disinvestment, many political and educational leaders are stepping up to his challenge. Additionally, city police departments are also refusing to work with ICE, as a way to combat "secure communities" and policies similar to 287g. In GA, this is a particularly strong action as our state actively participated in these programs on a county-by-county basis. Gwinnett county has reaffirmed their commitment to work with ICE allowing specially trained deputies to act as immigration agents under the supervision of ICE officials. 

What are Sanctuary Cities and Universities? 

"Generally, the label refers to localities that help shield undocumented residents from deportation by refusing to fully cooperate with detention requests from federal immigration authorities. Most take a “don’t ask, don’t tell” approach with their residents. Local policies range from nonbinding resolutions and police department orders (like in Los Angeles) to enforceable municipal ordinances (like in San Francisco)." 


By becoming a Sanctuary, these cities/universities/police departments take a stance against immigration raids and refuse to comply with Immigration, Customs, and Enforcement (ICE). Since Trump's election 10 major cities, including San Francisco, Oakland, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and Washington, D.C. have been declared as Sanctuary Cities. While churches and other faith-based institutions are still active participants, they may provide actual physical safe-harbor for undocumented people, while cities and universities are more actively making a public stance against cooperation with ICE. Yet, this does not prevent ICE agents from raiding a particular home or workplace within a Sanctuary City. 

What are its roots?

The Sanctuary Movement began in the 1980s as churches, synagogues, and other religious institutions declared themselves to be safe havens for undocumented refugees from Guatemala and El Salvador. Specifically, this movement began with the Southside Presbyterian Church in Tuscon, AZ with Rev. John Fife. 

How are Universities supporting DACAmented students? 

As of Nov 22nd, 250 University/College presidents have signed a statement to stand with DACAmented and undocumented students. This is both a "national necessity" and "moral imperative" for the US.  


Particularly strong support from ASU President Crow:

1. The legal status of DACA students has not changed.  While there has been much speculation about what might happen, the Arizona Board of Regents’ position that DACA students are eligible for in-state tuition at all three Arizona public universities remains unchanged.  There will be no change unless and until the Federal DACA program is changed or the Court of Appeals reverses the Arizona superior court decision that was the basis for the Board’s conclusion that DACA status satisfies the requirements of its existing residency policy.

2. We recognize that DACA students are nevertheless anxious and concerned about their future. Therefore, ASU will make counseling services available to them on a confidential basis.

3. If DACA is eliminated, we will rise to the challenge.  ASU is a convening force in the community for good and for change.  If students lose the status that makes them eligible for in-state tuition, ASU will convene and engage the community on this issue to seek financial support for the continued study of students at ASU who graduated from Arizona high schools and who are qualified to attend the state universities -- regardless of their immigration status.

We have already begun discussions with our DACA scholarship partner, TheDream.US, about using the private dollars that they raise to secure scholarships for DREAMers who have lost their DACA status, should that occur. Even before in-state tuition became a reality, we partnered with TheDream.US on a scholarship program that they established for DACA students enrolled in our online degree programs, and we would hope that will continue.  ASU will also provide financial counseling services as needed.

4. In the days ahead, we will continue to work at every level to maintain the great learning environment that ASU has created.  Dialogue is essential and we will communicate at multiple levels with various internal and external communities and constituencies about the importance of inclusivity in all that we do.