Profs use syllabi to pledge support for illegal immigrants
Several professors recently pledged to support DACA students by physically blocking immigration agents from entering campus to “deport undocumented immigrants."
While the pledge was initially drafted by the student group GC CUNY Resist Trump, Politico reports that a small group of professors have added the statement to their syllabi in defiance of City University of New York Chancellor James Milliken’s promise not to work with agents “except as required by law.”
“As an educator, I fully support the rights of undocumented students to an education and to live free from the fear of deportation. If you have any concerns in that regard, feel free to discuss them with me, and I will respect your wishes concerning confidentiality," the statement reads.
“Furthermore,” it adds, “I am committed to making CUNY a sanctuary campus for undocumented immigrants, not just in word but in deed—through the campus community refusing to allow ICE to enter our campus and refusing to cooperate with and struggling to prevent any government attempts to ascertain the immigration status of members of our community or to detain or deport undocumented immigrants."
While it is unclear how many professors have added the statement to their syllabi, Politico reports that the pledge has been disseminated across the CUNY system.
Katherine Entigar, an adjunct professor at City College and Hunter College, told Politico that she shared the statement with her colleagues at both schools.
“What is important to remember is this was suggested language,” Entigar said. “I am so excited to have a constructed, conscious, articulated response to what is happening right now in a way that is not just me alone, but is something that actually expresses a community value.”
She also explained that the statement is a starting point for future dialogue on immigration issues that impact students.
“This is something that is a starting point,” she said, noting that she works to incorporate immigration issues into all her classes. “It's a mission statement but it’s also something that actually moves through our conversations in class as well.”
The recent pledge to support DACA students is not the only example of opposition to President Trump’s new immigration policy.
Last week, for example, the school hosted a DACA information session, the GC CUNY Resist Trump organization sent a group of students to a “Fight for DACA Rally,” and the CUNY Chancellor James Milliken published a declaration of support for illegal immigrant students, saying, “CUNY is fully committed to our thousands of DACA students and will do all it can to support them, including counseling and legal guidance and financial aid.”
Spokespersons for CUNY did not immediately respond to Campus Reform’s request for comment.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @Toni_Airaksinen