News & Politics

Columbia University Plans to Provide Sanctuary, Financial Help for Undocumented Students

(Photo by Albin Lohr-Jones)

Fearing a “crack-down” on illegal immigration in the wake of the election of Donald Trump, Columbia University has declared itself to be a safe space for undocumented students.

According to the Columbia Daily Spectator, the university plans “to provide sanctuary and financial support for undocumented students as many face concerns about immigration policy under President-elect Donald Trump.”

Via The Hill:

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.”

This comes after dozens of U.S. mayors promised to remain “sanctuary cities”  in defiance of Trump’s threat to deport millions of illegal immigrants.

Last Wednesday,  a group of over 400 Columbia students walked out of classes demanding a “sanctuary campus ” and asking that Bollinger make a statement in support of DACA.

Columbia is just one of many universities across the country that are being pressured by students and faculty to make their campuses sanctuaries for undocumented students.