Vanderbilt Students Demand ‘Sanctuary Campus’

AP Photo/Mark Humphrey
AP Photo/Mark Humphrey

Following other liberal American universities, Vanderbilt students are now demanding sanctuary city policies for their campus to ensure illegal immigrant students are not deported.

Students sent a list of five demands to University Chancellor Nicholas Zeppos stressing that “sanctuary campus” policies be enacted after President-Elect Donald Trump is inaugurated, according to the Vanderbilt Hustler.

Attorney Andrew Free explained in detail how the university could enforce policies such as banning cooperation between campus police and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE):

Demand 1: Cut ties with all law enforcement agencies that collaborate with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) and Customs and Border Patrol (CBP)

Free explained that schools, including colleges and universities such as Vanderbilt, are considered “sensitive locations.” This means that ICE and CBP officers should generally avoid committing enforcement actions such as apprehending, arresting, interviewing, searching, or surveilling an individual in these areas unless there are “exigent circumstances necessitating immediate action” or the officer has obtained prior approval. Sensitive locations were created via a 2014 Department of Homeland Security memorandum, and also include places such as places of worship and hospitals.

However, this memorandum may be ignored in an effort to deport two to three million individuals from the country, as Trump has promised to do, Free said. What this first demand does is state that Vanderbilt will preserve its status as a sensitive location, even if national deportation efforts are made.

An additional example of cutting ties to ICE and CBP is refusing to facilitate ICE and CBP recruitment efforts on campuses, as many campuses did as a means of protest during the Vietnam War, Free said.

Other demands include outright banning “law enforcement agencies who collaborate with ICE access to any Vanderbilt properties or information.”

Students also have demanded that campus law enforcement be prohibited from inquiring about immigration status or working with ICE on operations.

With respect to Trump’s plan to reinstate the National Security Exit-Entry Registration System (NSEERS), which helped track individuals in the country who came from terrorist-burdened countries up until 2011 when it was abolished, students are demanding the university defy the federal law:

NSEERS was eliminated by the DHS in 2011, but during his campaign, Donald Trump stated that he believes a similar system should be implemented to track people from countries such as Iran, Syria, and Afghanistan. This demand’s goal is to require Vanderbilt not to comply with a system such as NSEERS.

“It sounds like they’re wanting to bring that back,” Free said. “And the idea here is that Vanderbilt should not be cooperating, or giving any information to this registry.”

Students’ final demand is a broad-stroke enactment of ‘sanctuary campus’ policies, which will ignore federal immigration officials and ban inquiries into illegal immigrants in order to “send a message” that Vanderbilt protects illegal immigrant students.

As more schools, such as Yale University and Columbia University, begin to implement these types of reforms, the more challenging it will be for Trump’s immigration plans to be successful on college campuses.

“This puts Vanderbilt as an institution in a place where you’ve laid a marker, saying ‘We are not going to tolerate this,’” Free said. The more places that do that, the harder it is for this to be implemented nationwide.”

Similar demands have been made at other universities, like Stanford, where students are demanding an actual refugee camp on campus, as Breitbart News reported.

John Binder is a contributor for Breitbart Texas. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.


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