UConn Pledges to Protect Immigrant Students
The University of Connecticut will protect its undocumented students amid a coming Donald Trump presidency, campus officials announced Tuesday.
Does that make UConn a “sanctuary” campus. First officials said no, then revised their response to, “essentially.”
“Although we don’t have the legal ability to designate ourselves with the formal term, UConn is already essentially functioning as a sanctuary campus,” UConn spokeswoman Stephanie Reitz said.
UConn President Susan Herbst emailed a message Tuesday to all students and staff telling them the state’s flagship university is committed to being an inclusive environment in which all members of the community can freely and securely engage in the university’s research, teaching and public service missions.
“In recent weeks, many students, faculty and staff have expressed concerns and raised questions regarding potential changes in federal policy that could adversely impact members of our community on the basis of their citizenship or immigration status, specifically those students who are undocumented,” Herbst wrote.
She outlined a number of ways UConn would protect students.
Her message comes as a growing number of college campuses across the country have declared themselves sanctuaries to any policies aimed at identifying or removing undocumented students from the country.
During his campaign, Trump vowed on numerous occasions to deport undocumented residents.
After the election, an estimated 500 UConn students marched through the Storrs campus demanding protection for immigrant students. On Monday, some students complained that they had not heard a response from university officials.
“We want UConn to know that we did not forget and recognize their lack of commitment,” said Eric Cruz Lopez, a student leader at UConn and CT Students for a Dream organizer. “We will continue to hold UConn accountable in keeping our marginalized communities safe.”