The University of Maryland now has a website dedicated to helping current and prospective students who are in the United States illegally, a move in keeping with the recent announcement that the school had created an undocumented student coordinator staff position.
“Amid student coalition demands and strengthened immigration policies under President Trump’s administration, the University of Maryland is creating an undocumented student coordinator position,” the March 12 article in the student newspaper, The Diamondback, states.
“As part of the university’s ongoing commitment to undocumented students … We are assigning a UMD staff person to serve as a coordinator to address the immediate needs of the undocumented student population,” Katie Lawson, spokesperson for the University, said in a statement published by the newspaper. “Lawson noted that this university is also formalizing an undocumented student work group that ‘relies on expertise from units across campus,’ and is providing web resources to ensure the latest applicable information for these students is available.”
“The University of Maryland is committed to creating a welcoming and inclusive environment for all students, including undocumented students,” the website states. “Undocumented students, who often face barriers and challenges as they navigate campus policies, require support services that address their unique needs.”
“As such, the Office of Multicultural Involvement & Community Advocacy (MICA) and the Asian American Studies Program (AAST) have partnered with other UMD departments and allies to increase institutional support for undocumented students, providing advising related to financial aid and admissions.”
“Ultimately, the University strives to provide resources and guidance to support the advancement of undocumented students during their time at Maryland.” the website states and notes that the website is funded, in part, by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.
The website also advises teachers and staff on how they can support illegal alien students on a page titled, “6 Things You Can Do to Create a Welcoming Environment for Undocumented Students.”
1. Do not inquire about a student’s immigration status. Students may have legitimate fears about disclosing this information. Educators and other personnel should not make assumptions about students’ immigration status.
2. Convey openness and assurance of confidentiality in discussing the topic, if a student chooses to disclose their immigration status.
3. Consider establishing welcoming spaces, while respecting student privacy, where undocumented students have the opportunity to learn and engage with their peers without fear or intimidation.
• Post this printable sign in your office or on your door
• Post an article about the Maryland DREAM Act in your office
4. Use inclusive language such as “undocumented student” “undocumented immigrant” “people without documents,” or “people without legal status.” The term “illegal alien” can make students feel unwelcome.
5. Learn the facts. For instance, every academic year, 65,000 undocumented students graduate from high school in the United States. Currently, around 5%-10% of these 65,000 high school graduates move on to a higher education institution (Gonzales, 2009). Maryland allows undocumented students to pay in- state tuition under certain conditions. Learn more about the Maryland DREAM Act.
6. Be sensitive to the limits that undocumented students face in your classroom activities and discussions. Not every student is eligible to register to vote, to travel out of the country, or feels comfortable discussing their family’s migration story.
“While Trump’s administration announced on Feb. 21 that the DACA program will remain intact, it is stepping up its immigration enforcement and deportation efforts,” the student newspaper article states. “Department of Homeland Security memos from last month stated that undocumented immigrants convicted of any crime can be deported, and that there are no exceptions to the deportation proceedings.”
The article notes that, as of fall 2016, there were 113 students covered under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and that these actions by the University were undertaken because of student “demands.”
“Last semester, Protect UMD issued 64 demands to this university’s administration,” the student newspaper states. “Ten of those demands directly concerned undocumented students at this university, including a demand for ‘a full-time Undocumented Student Coordinator to advocate for, advise, represent, and protect undocumented and DACAmented students.’”
Meanwhile, Jose O. Montano and Henry E. Sanchez Milian, reportedly in the U.S. illegally, were arrested on Thursday for allegedly raping and sodomizing a 14-year-old Maryland high school girl, according to police.
A detective from the Special Victims Investigations Division Child Abuse/Sex Assault (SVID CA/SA) interviewed the victim, identified as “Victim A,” on Mar. 16. The young victim was allegedly orally, anally, and vaginally raped.
Both Montano and Sanchez Milian face “first-degree rape and two counts of first-degree sexual offense,” according to WTOP.com. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) placed an immigration detainer request on the 18-year-old Sanchez but would not comment on Montano’s case as he is a minor.
Democrats in Maryland are hoping to make the state a “sanctuary” for illegal aliens, the Washington Examiner reported.
“Maryland Democrats this week took a major step to becoming a ‘sanctuary state,’ drawing outrage from Republican Gov. Larry Hogan and concerns it would protect an 18-year-old illegal charged with raping a 14-year-old girl in a school bathroom last week.”
“The Democratically-controlled House of Delegates voted 83-55 to OK the Maryland Law Enforcement and Trust Act. Generally, it would bar state and local law enforcement from helping federal immigration officials seeking illegals, including requests to detain inmates for deportation,” the Examiner reported. “The legislation, however, allows counties that prefer to work with Immigration and Customs Enforcement to continue.