Columbia University is now among the universities and colleges pledging to adopt measures that would protect undocumented students during Donald Trump’s Presidency.
Provost John Coatsworth said in an email sent to students and teachers Monday that the university would not let immigration officials onto its campus without a warrant or provide the information of undocumented students to authorities without a court-ordered subpoena.
If the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is terminated — as Trump has threatened to do — the university said it would increase financial aid and other support to undocumented students who lose the right to work.
Trump’s victory has “prompted intense concern for the values we hold dear and for members of our community who are apprehensive about what the future holds,” the provost said in the email.
“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,” he said.
University President Lee Bollinger said the university is in a period where it doesn’t know what will happen to “a lot of students and faculty and staff with respect to immigration policy.
“There are lots of areas that are uncertain and it’s a deeply puzzling and concerning time,” he said in a statement.
“Where we have opportunities to provide specific policy decisions like financial aid to students, we’ll think about these very carefully and act where we can.”
In California, the nation’s largest four-year public university system has reaffirmed its commitment to not work with federal immigration officials to help deport undocumented students.
California State University Chancellor Timothy White “said CSU police will not honor requests from US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to hold people suspected of being in the country illegally,” according to Buzzfeed. “He also said school police would not contact, detain, question, or arrest someone because they are suspected of being undocumented.”
In an email to constituents, the state’s Lt. Governor, Gavin Newsom, wrote that he met with frightened California students and urged action:
“I refuse to sit back and hope for the best. We have both a moral and economic imperative to protect our students – the future teachers, innovators and community leaders of California. That’s why I wrote to UC, CSU and California Community College leaders asking them to take immediate action to safeguard our students from President-elect Trump’s mass deportation plan.”
“I made clear to them and will lay out for you here what exactly that entails: We need our schools to move quickly toward declaring their status as ‘Sanctuary Campuses,’ protect student data from abuse by the federal government and codify policies on working with immigration enforcement.”
Students and allies have held demonstrations at dozens of other schools across the nation pledging for similar support, including Tufts, New School, Rutgers, and Columbia. The hashtag #SanctuaryCampus has been capturing scenes from campuses across the nation.