Lawmakers To Take Up ‘Sanctuary Campuses’ And Whether To Punish Those Universities

Gov. Greg Abbott is threatening to cut off state funding for those campuses, and students are concerned.

By Ryan PoppeJanuary 20, 2017 11:09 am, , ,

From Texas Public Radio:

On Dec. 1, Gov. Abbott tweeted:  “I will cut funding for any state campus if it establishes sanctuary status.”
The Governor’s office has declined to explain exactly how Abbott defines a sanctuary campus. But students like 20-year-old Samuel Cervantes  are worried.

“I was not comfortable telling people that I was undocumented,“ Cervantes says.

Cervantes has lived most of his life in the United States after being brought here by parents who illegally entered Texas from Mexico. He’s a sophomore at the University of Texas at Austin majoring in political science and communications.

“My dad raised me in a way that made me fear of telling people of my status and I think he did it, not out of malice, he wanted to protect me.  So he didn’t want any of my educational opportunities to be limited,” Cervantes says.

Cervantes was among the many young immigrants given protection from deportation under President Obama’s program, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA.  President-elect Trump has promised to scrap that program which is currently in legal limbo.

The Governor’s  tweet, while vague, has only heightened fears.

Karla Perez is with the Texas chapter of the United We Dream campaign, one of the student groups that have organized on campuses across the state.  United We Dream is asking university presidents in Texas and elsewhere to declare their campuses “sanctuaries” for undocumented students — places where students without valid immigration status will be left alone.

Perez says the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency known as ICE currently doesn’t question the immigration status of college students.  Perez is worried new federal or state policies could change that.

Read more.