Education

Columbia University Declares Itself A Sanctuary Campus For Illegal Immigrants

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Blake Neff Reporter

Columbia University will make itself a haven for illegal immigrants and actively defy U.S. government efforts to enforce immigration law, the school’s provost announced Monday.

Provost John Coatsworth says the school will do whatever it can within the law to hinder deportation efforts that may target its students or employees.

“First, the University will neither allow immigration officials on our campuses without a warrant, nor share information on the immigration status of undocumented students with those officials unless required by subpoena or court order, or authorized by a student,” Coatsworth said in his statement. “The experience of undocumented students at the College and Columbia Engineering, from the time they first seek admission through their graduation, will not be burdened in any way by their undocumented status.”

Coatsworth said the university would also plan on offering special financial aid to illegal immigrants, so that they can continue to attend class even if they lose the ability to work due to federal regulations.

Coatsworth never explicitly uses the term “sanctuary campus,” but the school’s actions adhere very closely to those demanded by thousands of students around the U.S. who walked out of class to demand their schools declare themselves sanctuaries for illegal immigrants. (RELATED: Michigan Students Segregate By Race During Anti-Racism Protest)

Columbia president Lee Bollinger is one of dozens of college presidents who have signed a letter urging Trump to preserve Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), a program created by President Barack Obama that blocks deportations for illegal immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as minors.

While Columbia avoided using the term “sanctuary campus,” Wesleyan University in Connecticut fell no such restraint. The school’s president announced its sanctuary status Sunday, saying his school would fight against federal immigration enforcement to whatever extent it could.

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