How Colleges and Universities are Defying Trump

Demonstrators rally in Homestead, Fla., on Nov. 16, 2016. (Joe Raedle / Getty Images) The student campaign to make schools into sanctuaries for undocumented immigrants. More than 1,000 students and faculty at New York University walked out of classes on Nov. 16, 2016, as part of a nationwide day of actions to protest Donald Trump’s proposed immigration policies. Assembled in Washington Square Park, they formed a “solidarity circle,” with “those who feel least targeted by a Trump presidency” forming the outer ring. Those who felt most vulnerable stood at the center, where many gave testimony about what life has been like since Trump’s victory. Claudia Carvajal, the first speaker, decided to attend law school at NYU after navigating the thorns of U.S. immigration policy with her family, who emigrated to the United States from Mexico when she was a child. In 2012, Carvajal was granted temporary protection from deportation through the Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, but Donald Trump has indicated that he may revoke DACA within his first 100 days in office. If he follows through, as many as 750,000 recipients could lose protection. “Trump’s immigration policies have the potential to devastate millions of lives,” Carvajal told the crowd, her words echoed out by a “human microphone.” “My own family—who have been in this great nation for over 22 years—could be ripped apart. I have had some of the most difficult conversations in my life this past week … about things like where my 8-year-old brother should go and who he should stay with if we are torn apart.” “We cannot afford to wait and see what happens,” another speaker said. “Why should we assume the best of [Trump] when he has said the worst?” Carvajal and her fellow students aren’t waiting. Instead, they’re calling on NYU to become a “sanctuary campus” that offers protection to undocumented students facing deportation. “With a governmental shift that poses an increasing threat to our safety, we turn to our schools for asylum,” students wrote in a petition to the university’s administration.“We know our campus has the potential to be a sanctuary, and we demand that potential be realized.” Nearly 100 other universities staged simultaneous walk-outs and demonstrations that day to call on their campuses offer sanctuary to undocumented immigrants, in what organizers believe to be the largest wave of student demonstrations...

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