Safe cam­pus pledges made

With emo­tions still raw af­ter the elec­tion, main­tain­ing the peace when fam­i­lies get to­gether may not be easy Un­doc­u­mented Md. stu­dents told col­leges will pro­tect them

Baltimore Sun - - FRONT PAGE - By Tim Pru­dente and John Fritze

Mary­land univer­sity lead­ers are tak­ing steps in ad­vance of the in­au­gu­ra­tion of Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump to pro­tect un­doc­u­mented stu­dents from de­por­ta­tion, join­ing a na­tional move­ment that could bring the schools into con­fronta­tion with the com­ing administration.

Trump cam­paigned on prom­ises to build a wall on the south­ern border, to triple the num­ber of Im­mi­gra­tion and Cus­toms En­force­ment agents, to de­port more un­doc­u­mented im­mi­grants, and to end the pro­gram es­tab­lished by Pres­i­dent Barack Obama that has al­lowed some un­doc­u­mented stu­dents to stay and pur­sue their ed­u­ca­tion.

Fol­low­ing Trump’s elec­tion, Wal­lace D. Loh, pres­i­dent of the Univer­sity of Mary­land, Col­lege Park, urged stu­dents and fac­ulty this week to call on law­mak­ers to pre­serve the pro­gram, known as De­ferred Ac­tion for Child­hood Ar­rivals, or DACA.

Free­man A. Hrabowski III, pres­i­dent of the Univer­sity of Mary­land, Bal­ti­more County, told stu­dents and fac­ulty that he’s work­ing to un­der­stand op­tions un­der state and fed­eral law to make the school a sanc­tu­ary cam­pus for un­doc­u­mented stu­dents.

And Mike Lurie, a spokesman for the Univer­sity Sys­tem of Mary­land, which in­cludes Col­lege Park, UMBC and 10 other in­sti­tu­tions, says the in­di­vid­ual schools may choose not to help fed­eral agents en­force im­mi­gra­tion laws.

Stu­dents at­tend­ing col­lege un­der DACA make up less than 1 per­cent of the

“If UMBC wants to po­ten­tially threaten ev­ery dol­lar of their fed­eral fund­ing … then they should con­sider pro­ceed­ing with their sug­gested pol­icy of de­fi­ance of fed­eral law,”

Univer­sity Sys­tem of Mary­land pop­u­la­tion. And it is un­clear that Trump would be­gin tar­get­ing them for de­por­ta­tion.

Since the elec­tion, the Repub­li­can has soft­ened his rhetoric — while he once said he would de­port 11 mil­lion un­doc­u­mented im­mi­grants, he has since sug­gested he would fo­cus on 2 mil­lion to 3 mil­lion who have com­mit­ted crimes since ar­riv­ing in the United States. Still, Mwewa Sumbwe is wor­ried. The 20-year-old Univer­sity of Mary­land ju­nior was brought to the United States from her na­tive Zam­bia 16 years ago. Grow­ing up in Mont­gomery County, she never told her friends that she was in the coun­try il­le­gally.

DACA al­lowed her to ob­tain a work per­mit as a cashier at a CVS Phar­macy, then to pay in-state tu­ition at the Univer­sity of Mary­land. The honor roll stu­dent fol­lowed her brother to Col­lege Park.

Now her fu­ture is un­cer­tain. She wor­ries she will be sent back.

“My fear is of ar­riv­ing in a coun­try I don’t know,” she said.

Loh said the Univer­sity of Mary­land has about 100 DACA stu­dents.

“As the state’s flag­ship in­sti­tu­tion,” he wrote to the cam­pus com­mu­nity on Tues­day, “UMD is com­mit­ted to reach­ing out and pro­vid­ing ed­u­ca­tional op­por­tu­ni­ties to aca­dem­i­cally qual­i­fied per­sons of all back­grounds and walks of life. We are an im­mi­grant na­tion, one formed from many. In our democ­racy, we are all in it to­gether; we have re­spon­si­bil­i­ties to each other.”

Univer­sity pres­i­dents across the coun­try have signed an on­line state­ment in sup­port of DACA stu­dents. Loh, Hrabowski and the pres­i­dents of Johns Hop­kins, Loy­ola Univer­sity Mary­land, St. Mary’s Col­lege of Mary­land, Goucher Col­lege and the Univer­sity of Mary­land, Univer­sity Col­lege have signed, as has Robert Caret, chan­cel­lor of the Univer­sity Sys­tem of Mary­land.

Stu­dents and fac­ulty at UMBCare urg­ing the school to take more steps: They’re calling on ad­min­is­tra­tors to ban im­mi­gra­tion agents from cam­pus, to ad­vise cam­pus po­lice not to help with im­mi­gra­tion en­force­ment, and to pro­tect the records of un­doc­u­mented stu­dents.

A spokes­woman for the De­part­ment of Home­land Se­cu­rity said guide­lines ad­vise that im­mi­gra­tion en­force­ment should be avoided at “sen­si­tive” lo­ca­tions, such as houses of wor­ship and schools.

“DHS is com­mit­ted to en­sur­ing that peo­ple seek­ing to par­tic­i­pate in ac­tiv­i­ties or uti­lize ser­vices pro­vided at any sen­si­tive lo­ca­tion are free to do so with­out fear or hes­i­ta­tion,” spokes­woman Gil­lian Chris­tensen said in a state­ment.

DACA, es­tab­lished by Obama by ex­ec­u­tive ac­tion in 2012, halted de­por­ta­tion and granted work per­mits to some young im­mi­grants who were brought to the United States be­fore they turned 16. About 740,000 “Dream­ers” have been ap­proved for the pro­gram.

Though there was some bi­par­ti­san sup­port for the idea of shield­ing young im­mi­grants from de­por­ta­tion, con­ser­va­tives were in­fu­ri­ated that Obama took mea­sures into his own hands rather than wait­ing for Con­gress to ap­prove a broader over­haul of the na­tion’s im­mi­gra­tion laws. Obama coun­tered that Con­gress ap­peared to be po­lit­i­cally un­able to act.

Dur­ing the pres­i­den­tial cam­paign, Trump vowed to re­verse Obama’s ac­tions on his first day in the White House. Be­cause he can take that step uni­lat­er­ally — and be­cause it would quickly sat­isfy a cam­paign pledge — he is ex­pected to make good on the prom­ise.

But what hap­pens next is less clear: Just be­cause the ex­ec­u­tive ac­tions are un­wound doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily mean im­mi­gra­tion agents will be­gin de­port­ing stu­dents.

“What we are go­ing to do is get the peo­ple that are crim­i­nal and have crim­i­nal records, gang mem­bers, drug deal­ers,” Trump told CBS News shortly af­ter the elec­tion. “Af­ter the border is se­cured and af­ter ev­ery­thing gets nor­mal­ized, we’re go­ing to make a de­ter­mi­na­tion on the peo­ple that you’re talk­ing about who are ter­rific peo­ple.”

As UMBCs­tu­dents and fac­ulty talk about ban­ning fed­eral im­mi­gra­tion en­force­ment agents from cam­pus, Rep. Andy Har­ris says uni­ver­si­ties need to be care­ful.

The Bal­ti­more County Repub­li­can sits on the House Ap­pro­pri­a­tions Com­mit­tee.

“If UMBC wants to po­ten­tially threaten ev­ery dol­lar of their fed­eral fund­ing — which is con­sid­er­able — then they should con­sider pro­ceed­ing with their sug­gested pol­icy of de­fi­ance of fed­eral law,” he said.

“As Con­gress is seek­ing ways to re­duce the mas­sive fed­eral deficit, this would in­deed be a risky gam­bit.”

Pro­po­nents of tougher im­mi­gra­tion en­force­ment say fears of agents raid­ing col­lege cam­puses are mis­placed, and sug­gested the re­ac­tion from ad­min­is­tra­tors ap­pears to be po­lit­i­cally mo­ti­vated.

“They’re not go­ing to be storm­ing the din­ing hall or the li­brary,” said Jes­sica Vaughan, di­rec­tor of pol­icy stud­ies at the Cen­ter for Im­mi­gra­tion Stud­ies. “No­body ever thought there were go­ing to be ICE agents pa­trolling the street ar­rest­ing ev­ery im­mi­grant that they can find. That’s kind of a car­toon ver­sion of it that Hil­lary Clin­ton wanted to pro­mote.”

But cam­puses that with­hold in­for­ma­tion when ICE agents have a war­rant could be mak­ing a mis­take, Vaughan said. “Not to share in­for­ma­tion — if ICE has a war­rant — that col­lege would be ill-ad­vised to ob­struct that,” she said.

The Univer­sity Sys­tem of Mary­land will con­tinue to com­ply with fed­eral laws pro­tect­ing the pri­vacy of stu­dent records, said Lurie, the sys­tem spokesman. Such records can in­clude im­mi­gra­tion sta­tus and DACA par­tic­i­pa­tion. “[We] will re­spond as ap­pro­pri­ate to law­fully is­sued sub­poe­nas and/or court or­ders,” he said.

About 100 stu­dents at the Johns Hop­kins Univer­sity gath­ered last week to sup­port un­doc­u­mented stu­dents. Some raised signs that read “sanc­tu­ary cam­pus,” ac­cord­ing to the stu­dent news­pa­per the News-Let­ter.

Ad­vo­cates for im­mi­grants say the sanc­tu­ary cam­pus move­ment is send­ing a mes­sage of sol­i­dar­ity at a time when there have been re­ports of hate speech and graf­fiti di­rected at im­mi­grant stu­dents.

“They were liv­ing in the shad­ows and they were brave enough to come out of the shad­ows, and a lot of them have ac­com­plished some in­cred­i­ble things,” said El­iz­a­beth Alex, a re­gional di­rec­tor with the ad­vo­cacy group CASA. “They have a lot of ques­tions: ‘Do I go back in the shad­ows?’ and that’s the real heart­break­ing part of this.”

Rep. Andy Har­ris


New guide­lines from fed­eral safety reg­u­la­tors call for cell­phones used by driv­ers to limit ac­cess to most apps.

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