NYU alumni demand legal support, financial aid for illegals

Alumni of New York University are joining the fight for on-campus “sanctuary” for illegal immigrants, urging their alma mater to expand financial aid options for such students.

In a recent petition to NYU President, Andrew Hamilton, nearly 600 former students call for the school not only to refuse cooperation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) at an institutional level, but to “instruct security staff to refuse to participate in the actions of any agency that deals with immigration regulation.”

Taking it one step further, the alumni petition advises Hamilton to “prohibit campus security from inquiring about or recording any information regarding an individual’s immigration status” while denying ICE “physical access to any buildings or land owned by the university to the fullest extent possible under the law.”

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The petition, which contains a list of 11 demands, cites President Donald Trump’s recent executive order on immigration as its motivation, boldly describing the failed order as having the effect of imposing a “Muslim ban.”

“Considering Donald Trump’s recent executive order, we firmly believe that the university must act quickly to defend the numerous students, faculty, and staff who are now under direct and imminent threat as a result of the ‘Muslim Ban,’” the petition declares, asserting that the “Muslim Ban” endangers “the diversity, inclusivity, and academic freedom that [NYU] is known for around the world.”

The petition goes on to demand several material benefits for illegal immigrant students, including increased “financial aid for noncitizen students, especially those who might be affected by a repeal or change in DACA [Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals],” and expanded “legal support for noncitizen, Muslim, and LGBTQ students and staff.”

Even as it calls for increased spending, though, the document also demands that the university divest “from companies or funds that stand to profit from these measures, such as private prisons.”

[RELATED: Students demand ‘sanctuary campuses’ to protect them from Trump]

While Hamilton has yet to explicitly respond to the petition in question, he addressed several similar demands in November shortly after Trump’s election, stopping just short of declaring his school a sanctuary campus.

NYU alumni are seeking additional signatures for their petition, which duplicates several demands to which Hamilton has already acceded, saying NYU must “stand up and support all those of the NYU community made vulnerable by these recent events.”

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“Action is essential to send an important message of support to our students, staff, and community members, and to secure their protection in the face of an uncertain future,” the petition concludes. “Declaring NYU a Sanctuary Campus affirms our commitment to keeping NYU an open university to the world.”

At press time, the petition had garnered 577 signatures, putting it just over halfway to its objective of 1,000.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @AGockowski